Looking for Thoughts on Starting a Diversity Club at Work
Posted: 04 January 2008 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16

Hi All,

I work at a large company in Silicon Valley, and recently noticed that no one had started a ‘Diversity Group’.  Diversity groups in companies are used for a number of purposes, including bringing people together about a common concern.

For a good example, see Microsoft’s list here:
http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/dac.mspx

One thing I’ve noticed is that there aren’t really any that are ‘Humanist/Free Thinkers/Brights’ etc.

So, two questions,

1) Has anyone seen anyone set something up at a major company in these areas?
2) Any suggestions on naming?
3) Anyone else in a major company thinking about doing the same?

On #2/#3, it would be nice if we took some time to work on the naming so that we could have something like (GLBT) that could be seen as a organized effort, instead of what it looks like now in the University clubs, which really doesn’t seem all that unified/organized….  Also, open to counter thoughts on this.

Anyway, the main point was, what do we think about Humanists getting a seat at the corporate diversity table?

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2008 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16

How about:

Humanist, Atheists, Freethinkers and Brights
(HAFB)

Similar to:
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transsexual
(GLBT)

-Baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2008 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

Since there was no such thing as formal diversity or friendship groups when I was working, and I left that environment almost twenty years ago, I can’t even envision how they’d work.  Wish I could be of some help.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2008 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
Occam - 05 January 2008 05:28 PM

Since there was no such thing as formal diversity or friendship groups when I was working, and I left that environment almost twenty years ago, I can’t even envision how they’d work.  Wish I could be of some help.

Occam

Hi Occam,

Yeah, I think Diversity Groups are a recent addition to companies, but have come to play an important role in a short period of time.

Basically, I think, the theory is that as ‘Diversity’ becomes important to society, a company needs a process to make sure that the values of the many different groups are represented both inside and outside the company.  As such, they encourage employees that belong to various demographic groups to participate to represent these groups within the company.

IBM has a nice write-up on what they have been doing:
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/people/diversity/index.shtml

Diversity Groups can be involved in any number of HR policy reviews, to employment practices, to product and marketing effort reviews.  When done right, its a very nice way for companies to make sure that areas where company life and personal life touch are tailored to the specific needs of various groups.

That said, the Humanist/Atheist/Freethinkers/Brights (HAFB) is still a pretty young movement, and I think there’s a case to be made that we should seek representation within our companies as a way to make sure that issues that are important to us are well represented both within and without the companies that we work in.

Personally, I’ve gone back and forth a few times wondering if Atheists really need representation and whether we have specific needs, and we may not, but I can’t help going back to the recent Gallup poll that looked at the electibility of Atheists and help but think that we need to take our minority status more seriously.

Anyway, maybe a good question for people here might be, what would you change about a company so that Atheists’ interests were better represented?  Is there anything?  Christmas/Easter holiday observances?  Visibility?  Outreach to Campus Groups?

I know we all want more ‘Humanists Values’ employed in the Government sector, perhaps we could set the example in the private sector first.

-baloo

[ Edited: 05 January 2008 09:38 PM by Baloo ]
 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2008 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

I think much of the discrimination against atheists is sort of underground.  Central is the belief that morality and ethics require belief in a god.  I suggest that the first step might be to form a Humane Ethics group, then in discussions, present the published ethical beliefs of various organizations including Humanist and Atheist groups.  This would also be a good place to introduce the question of whether ethical behavior toward othes extends to other species or is it limited to himans.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2008 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  121
Joined  2007-09-28
Baloo - 05 January 2008 09:35 PM

I know we all want more ‘Humanists Values’ employed in the Government sector, perhaps we could set the example in the private sector first. -baloo

What a great idea.  I’m glad you’re thinking about starting a group at your company.  Like Occam, I think a more general name might attract more people, especially those who are interested in secular humanism but not ready to take on the mantle of “aethist,” particularly in their work environment.  It would depend on who you are hoping will join your group—those already committed to the “cause” or those who are interested in finding out more about how to keep the company on an ethical and preferably secular path.  Keep us informed!

Vanessa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2008 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16

Hi All,

Just wanted to post an update.

I did apply for the organization of a new DNA (Diversity Network Association) at work.  The application has made it through both the Diversity Network Committee and Legal.  I have a few more steps but should have something up and running in a month or so, and we’ll then be a funded Diversity Recruiting program within the company.

In the end, I ended up going with straight ‘Atheist’ in the DNA name, and then added ‘Agnostics and people who hold similar secular and naturalistic world-views’ to the DNA description.  You can blame this on Dawkins, as I was greatly persuaded by his talk at TED.  http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/113

Dawkins makes the argument that we need to seek to redefine the word ‘Atheist’ by using it, and wearing it, and applying it to the core value of a naturalistic world-view.

The question of ‘Agnostic’ or ‘Atheist’ (or the modern-day ‘Humanist’) goes back well over a century, and I really enjoyed Dawkins re-telling of the story of Darwin’s discussion with Aveling.
==Aveling replied that “Agnostic was but Atheist writ respectable, and Atheist was only Agnostic writ aggressive”. Darwin responded “Why should you be so aggressive?”==

Dawkins makes the case that while the progress with the title ‘Atheist’ will be much slower, the ultimate effect will be much more profound.
Personally, I think so as well.


In any case, here’s the current description and mission for the Atheist DNA.
———————————————————————————————————————————————
The Atheist Community at “Company Name”

Mission:
The Atheist Community at “Company Name” (AC*) seeks to provide support for and awareness of those with lifestyles and values of Atheist, Agnostics and people who hold similar secular and naturalistic world-views, within “Company Name”.
Activities include:
  - monthly social networking opportunities with individuals that hold secular and naturalistic world-views
  - annual joint events with other DNAs to foster areas of common belief
  - ongoing participation in diversity based recruiting efforts
———————————————————————————————————————————————

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2008 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4080
Joined  2006-11-28

Nice work, Baloo. I look forward to hearing how it goes once it’s started!

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 May 2008 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16

Hi All,

It’s official:
http://www.apple.com/jobs/us/pro/inside/diversity.html

———————————————————————————————————————————————
Agnostic Community at Apple

Mission:
The Agnostic Community at Apple (ACA) seeks to provide support for and awareness of those with lifestyles and values of Agnostics, Atheists and people who hold similar secular and naturalistic world-views, within Apple.
Activities include:
- monthly social networking opportunities with individuals that hold secular and naturalistic world-views
- annual joint events with other DNAs to foster areas of common belief
- ongoing participation in diversity based recruiting efforts
———————————————————————————————————————————————

We switched the name to ‘Agnostic’ based on early feedback from early members, and the group is now up to over 30 people with a good mix of both Atheists and Agnostics.

Most of the other diversity groups work with outside organization that help build corporate awareness, and so I think one of the next steps, along with growing the group, will be to find the Atheist/Agnostic equivalent to ‘Human Rights Campaign’ (for Apple Lambda), or the Society of Women Engineers (for the Women at Apple) or National Society of Black Engineers (for African American Employee Association).

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 May 2008 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15368
Joined  2006-02-14

Glad to hear it’s working out! I take it you’re working at Apple? Neat company, love their products.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 May 2008 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2007-09-16
dougsmith - 14 May 2008 04:30 AM

Glad to hear it’s working out! I take it you’re working at Apple? Neat company, love their products.

Hi Doug,

Yep, I do Analytics for AppleCare.  It is a great company, and the people are great too!

-baloo

 Signature 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 May 2008 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15368
Joined  2006-02-14
Baloo - 14 May 2008 09:44 PM

Yep, I do Analytics for AppleCare.  It is a great company, and the people are great too!

Very cool!

grin

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile