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Ann M. Morrison

  • Fortune magazine's 1990 survey of 799 companies turned up only 19 women among the 4,012 directors and highest paid executives. Not much had changed since 1978, when the same survey located 10 women among 6,400 executives.

  • The burden carried by many nontraditional managers to represent their demographic group while performing their job is one that can raise the level of challenge beyond that of white male managers in whatever assignment they have. Because nontraditional managers represent not only their organization but also their ethnic group or gender (and sometimes also the concept of diversity in general), they are constantly called upon to promote the cause. The media want them for stories and profiles. Social scientists want them for research projects. Other men of color or women, with ambitions of their own, want them as role models and regularly call them for advice or favors. Nonprofit organizations ask them to speak at conventions. Their bosses sometimes nudge them to serve on committees and task forces as the ranking woman or person of color to represent that point of view. Employee groups beckon them to mentor others of the same sex or ethnicity. Top management may want their help in recruiting other nontraditional employees. The amount of necessary 'volunteerism' within and outside the organization escalates for nontraditional managers, who must also continue to do their jobs in a consistently outstanding fashion to stay in good stead with their bosses.

Ann M. Morrison, U.S. writer, consultant