Empathy and advancement

Aug 07 2009 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Regardless of where you live, you've likely heard of the so-called birther movement in the United States, which claims that President Obama isn't a US citizen. Wow, talk about a workplace issue! I mean, don't they check your papers when you get such a well paid job?

Of course, this story got me looking at the bigger picture about what advancement and progress means to the status quo: here's a look from the Huffington Post.

This article, based on a Thomas Friedman piece, purports that white executives (who are usually male) have a hard time empathizing with colleagues of color. While they may honestly want them to succeed, they can't bring themselves to view them as they view white junior executives, who often remind them of themselves or their children.

If such an attitude exists, it's to the detriment and career of the white executive who thinks that way. This is a great way to lose top talent Ė a company that isn't motivated to invest in your career isn't one you want to stay with long term.

Perhaps the question is why - or even if - these executives feel this way?