|You are the new HR manager for a large, 100-year old company. The company has several diversity-oriented groups and promotes growing the number of supervisors/managers that are non-white and women. When you were hired, you noticed that leadership in the operational roles were only white men, while women and people of color were in “soft skilled” roles, supporting the operational areas. When higher level positions became available, you noticed women and people of color were denied promotions for lacking operations experience. You are also having concerns about possible hostile working environment conditions and how such incidents have been resolved by HR employees.
You have been the HR manager for six months and was presented with the below incident:
1. In one of the 24-hour groups, the entire leadership team consists of white men. All of the leadership team is over 50 years old and the average tenure with the company is 30 years.
2. The rank-in-file employees of the team are diverse, with women and people of color.
3. On the morning shift, you received an anonymous complaint that the leadership team is sending around emails that appear to be racist. The email contained the below interaction:
o Supervisor 1: Rick (a black male) is doing a lot of work. It looks like he is going to beat his goal.
o Supervisor 2: Good. Then that will help to bring up the numbers so we can meet our goals as a group.
o Supervisor 1: Yeah, we just need to get more silver-backs like him.
4. The anonymous employee also typed a note stating that this is not the first time Supervisor 1 referred to black people as monkeys or gorillas – that Supervisor 1 has used such terms in front of and to the black people in the group.
5. You talked with Supervisor 1’s manager. The manager stated that Supervisor 1 has worked with the company for a long time and is not used to working with black people. The manager insisted that Supervisor 1 is a good person.
6. You talked with Supervisor 1. Supervisor 1 stated he did not know that calling a black person a silver-back was offensive. You asked Supervisor 1 about other comments referring to black people as monkeys or gorillas. Supervisor 1 said that the problem with diversity is that people are so sensitive.
7. You make a recommendation to Manager that Supervisor 1 should be formally disciplined including taking diversity classes.
8. The manager did not accept your recommendation. The manager stated he will talk with Supervisor 1.
As the HR manager, what should happen next? Provide 3-5 recommendations to senior leadership to address this situation as well as to address your observations and concerns about diversity in the company. Explain the reason for each recommendation and explain why/how these recommendations could improve the culture and work environment.
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