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< Introspection After Allegations Of Discrimination
Copyright ©2010 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required. text size A A A
Heard on Morning Edition
January 12, 2010 - DEBORAH AMOS, host:
This week in our business news, we're asking a basic question: How does a big corporation make itself look more like America?
To try to answer that question, let's talk about a company that was forced to face that very question. In 2001, African-American employees sued the giant company Sodexo, and soon afterward, the company hired a new head of diversity. We're going to listen to her story this morning.
AMOS: But why did she go to work in diversity at a company that was being sued for discrimination?
INSKEEP: Well, she explains that she wanted to make a difference. Let's listen to Rohini Anand.
Ms. ROHINI ANAND (Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo): It was a very painful thing. It was a very painful thing for the company. I think it made us introspective. You never want to feel that there's even one person in the company who feels they don't have an opportunity to succeed.
INSKEEP: That's Rohini Anand, who was hired as vice president of diversity for Sodexo. It provides everything from food service to laundry for countless hotels and companies, and military bases and even prisons.
AMOS: So what exactly were sued for?
INSKEEP: African-American employees said they were routinely denied promotions in choice jobs and managers allegedly made racist remarks. This includes a man who allegedly said blacks were genetically inferior. This is the company that Rohini Anand wanted to clean up.
You must have a moment, as youre thinking about going to work in a job like this, am I going to be able to change things or am I going to be in…...

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