Racial Issues Should Never Be Part of Hiring

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Write To The Editor Reprints

I took issue with the sidebar entitled "White Out" that ran with your March cover story, "The Feminization of HR." You quote Atul Shah, CEO and founder of Diverse Ethics, as saying that, if HR professionals are "not from a particular culture, they are unlikely to have that sensitivity and [cultural] intelligence [that is important for HR professionals to understand and appreciate]."

Apparently, both the article's author and Shah espouse the belief that, unless you look like the people you serve, you can't be effective. If we bought into the notion that it is "crucial for HR to mirror" the ethnic makeup of the employees, as your article suggests, a predominantly white company would not hire a non-white HR employee. That sounds a lot like illegal discrimination, don't you think?

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Please refrain from advocating that considerations of race and ethnicity should creep back into the hiring process. I would expect more from a magazine targeted to those who, regardless of the color of their skin, are committed to acting as guardians of a fair workplace.

Laura Thomas

Director of Human Resources

Casa Dorinda

Montecito, Calif.

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