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2014-06-10    来源:未知    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: It's great that [Sheryl Sandberg's book] Lean In has sparked a big public discussion about women in the workplace, but I really wish someone would start a similar conversation with regard to minorities. I am an African-American man and -- leaving aside the notable exception of the White House -- we're even more scarce in top executive jobs and boardrooms than women are. Yet no one is talking about that, maybe because people think that having a black President proves there's nothing more to say.
亲爱的安妮:(谢丽尔•桑德伯格的书)《向前一步》(Lean In)引发了公众关于职场女性的热烈讨论,这很好,但我真心希望有人同样能够关注一下职场中的少数族裔群体。我是非洲裔美国人,不考虑在白宫中地位显赫的那一位,我们这个群体在高管层和董事会中的数量比女性还要少。但到现在也没有人谈到这个问题,或许这是因为人们认为,一位黑人总统已经可以证明一切,已经没有必要再多说什么了。

I disagree. As an Ivy League alumnus in my late 30s who keeps getting passed over for promotion from middle management to a senior job, despite more than a decade of outstanding performance reviews, I can't help wondering if my race has something to do with it, especially since there are no ethnic minorities in senior management here. I feel like there's some secret handshake I haven't learned. What do you and your readers think? -- Let's Talk About It
我并不同意这种观点。常春藤盟校(Ivy League)毕业的我即将奔四,虽然我拥有十多年出色的绩效评估,但从中层管理职位到高层职位的晋升机会一直与我无缘。这让我不禁怀疑,我的种族是否与此有关。特别要说明的是,我所在公司的高级管理层中一名少数族裔都没有。我感觉,其中肯定有某些我所不了解的内幕。您和您的读者们怎么看?——L.T.A.I.

Dear Let's Talk: By all means, let's. Where do we start? Maybe by mentioning that there are at least two reasons why it's harder than it used to be for anyone (regardless of color) to get promoted these days. One of them is economic. The recession knocked more layers of management out of already-streamlined companies, so there are now even fewer senior jobs for middle managers to move into.

Then there's the matter of demographics. As a Gen Xer, you're probably bumping into what HR people call the "gray ceiling," made up of large numbers of Boomers in lofty positions who are in no hurry to retire.

No doubt, adding race to this picture does make the outlook even gloomier. Research and consulting firm DiversityInc, which tracks minorities' progress at U.S. companies, has reported that, in 2012, only 1.2% of Fortune 500 companies had black CEOs. (There were six of them, vs. nine chief executives who were Asian-American, six Latino, and 17 female.)
毫无疑问,如果在这种背景下再加入种族这个因素,前景看起来会更令人沮丧。调查与咨询公司DiversityInc一直在跟踪调查美国公司少数群体的发展状况。该公司报告称,2012年,《财富》500强公司(Fortune 500 )中,仅有1.2%的公司CEO是黑人。(共有6位,而亚裔美国人有9位,拉丁裔美国人有6位,女性有17位。)

Law firms -- 6.5% of whose partners are people of color -- are a tiny bit more diverse, but minorities "have actually lost ground in corporate board rooms recently," notes Chloe Drew. "There are fewer non-white directors now than in 2004."

Drew is executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals, a New York City-based nonprofit launched in 2007 that offers leadership training, networking, and mentoring connections and other career resources to minorities and women. The group has about 1,500 individual members and 67 corporate partners, all of them Fortune 500 companies, including American Express (AXP), Goldman Sachs (GS), Ernst & Young, and Google (GOOG).
德鲁是纽约市非营利机构城市职业理事会(Council of Urban Professionals,CUP)的执行理事。这个理事会成立于2007年,旨在为少数族裔和女性提供培训、人际交往和辅导,以及其他职场资源等。它大约有1,500名个人会员和67家企业合作伙伴,这些企业均为《财富》599强公司,其中包括美国运通(American Express)、高盛(Goldman Sachs)、安永会计师事务所(Ernst & Young)和谷歌(Google)。

CUP aims to develop "a pipeline of diverse leaders," Drew says, adding that it also acts as matchmaker between employers and candidates: "We've placed over 100 new executives and board members, despite the impact the recession has had on hiring."

Drew says that a big reason why there aren't more minorities at (or near) the top is that informal networks -- the kind companies rely on when filling executive jobs -- are usually all one color. She cites research showing that people "use family and friends to find the vast majority of the jobs they hold over a lifetime. The lack of diversity in those seemingly innocuous networks becomes self-reinforcing."

Not only that, but the shortage of minority role models in senior management at most companies has a way of perpetuating itself too. Since people generally like to mentor people they view as similar to themselves, "diverse leaders often don't have the same access to mentors and sponsors [that white managers have]," argues Drew. A related hurdle: "There is a certain kind of feedback that white men give to each other that they are not comfortable giving to someone of color, or to women," she adds. "For example, there might be issues of personal style or 'executive presence' that could be holding you back, but that people feel awkward about telling you" -- often, ironically, because they fear seeming racist if they do. So you're left trying to figure out the unwritten rules (or the "secret handshake," as you call it) for yourself.

How can you get past that? "You have to be strategic about your network," Drew says. "Try to find mentors and sponsors among higher-ups, but also grow your lateral network. Identify a few peers who will give you honest feedback you might not be getting" in performance reviews from your boss. "Develop a personal board of advisors, inside and outside of your company," she suggests. "Think of it as building your own 'old boys' network.'" Coincidentally or not, that is exactly how many of the executives on Fortune's Most Powerful Women list say they got information and advice that helped them rise beyond middle management.
那么,应该如何克服这个障碍?德鲁说道:“你必须对人际关系网络进行战略性部署。尽量在上级中找到导师和担保人,同时也要培养平级网络。”找几位能够为你提供诚实反馈的人,这样的反馈在“上司给你的绩效评估中”不可能出现。她建议:“在公司内部和外部建立一个私人的顾问团队。可以考虑把它建成你自己的‘老朋友’网络。”不知道是否是巧合,《财富》杂志最具影响力商界女性榜单(Most Powerful Women)中,许多女高管都表示,她们正是通过这种方式获得了信息和建议,帮助她们突破了中层管理的困局。

Other tactics you could borrow from them: Taking on tough (and highly visible) stretch assignments, learning how to blow your own horn in tactful ways, and working for the right company. On the first point, tackling challenges no one else wants to touch will help you stand out -- as will making sure that higher-ups know what you've done. "Hard work and excellent results are not, by themselves, going to be enough," Drew notes. "People above you need to be aware of what you've accomplished. It's crucial to learn to stand up for your achievements."

Then, consider this: All corporate cultures are not created equal, so where you work matters. Several of the women on Fortune's list have mentioned in interviews that they advanced their careers in part by deliberately seeking out jobs at companies that already had women in high places.

You could try something similar. DiversityInc publishes an annual ranking with detailed profiles of the 50 most diverse U.S. employers. (The top five in 2012: PwC, Sodexo, Kaiser Permanente, AT&T (T), and Procter & Gamble (PG).) Your solid track record at your current company is a marketable asset. If you really want to move up, maybe it's time to start looking around.
你也可以进行类似的尝试。DiversityInc公布了一份年度排名,详细介绍了50家最多元化的美国雇主。【2012年排名前五的公司分别是:普华永道(PwC)、索迪斯集团(Sodexo)、凯萨医疗机构(Kaiser Permanente)、美国电话电报公司(AT&T)和宝洁公司(Procter & Gamble)】。 你在目前公司的出色表现是你的卖点。如果你想更进一步,或许是时候做好准备了。

Talkback: Do you agree that it's time for a Lean In-style conversation about race in the workplace? What would you add to it? Leave a comment below.

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