CSR09 - Camelia Crisan

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The Hard Path to Diversity : 

The Hard Path to Diversity Camelia Crisan Lecturer, Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, SNSPA, Bucharest Mike Waldron Principal Partner, InterPares Ltd., UK

What is diversity? : 

What is diversity?

Diversity : 

Diversity The acceptance of an ongoing journey. It is as much about HOW we travel as it is about WHERE we come to rest and WHAT we do when we get there.

Why choosing diversity? : 

Why choosing diversity?

In essence… : 

In essence… Diversity is about valuing difference wherever it is found. And were we not to value difference none of us could truly claim to living or working in a true MERITOCRACY.

Empowering the powerless : 

Empowering the powerless

UK experience : 

UK experience The largest concentration of black and minority ethnic populations in the main urban centres, has led to some distinct challenges in isolation, alienation, cultural marginalisation, lack of resources and occasionally this tips over into hostility and violence. Rural racism is on occasion the ‘elephant in the room’, that cannot be ignored.

How about Romania? : 

How about Romania?

How about Romania? : 

How about Romania? NEWSFLASH: In January 2007 a riot of the Chinese workers at Wear Company Ltd - Bacau has been ignited by the Romanian employer failing to pay the salary scales promised to them on arrival (Pop, 2007; Leanca, 2007) therefore the workers, mostly female, attacked the General Manager of the factory with plastic forks and knives.

Arbeit macht frei? : 

Arbeit macht frei? Media review: A broad tendency of the articles to focus on negative aspects or pejorative comments addressed to the Chinese workers (e.g. scandal, attack, incident, rebellion, protest, retaliation, murder attempt, accusation, isolation, failed experiment, invasion); Testimonials: - the Chinese workers were isolated from the community due to the language barrier, they live in a sort of “social prison” (Enache, 29.01.2007), - “the Chinese workers … are being kept locked in the perimeter where they work …the guards say that until now there have been several attempts to escalade the fence, but the Chinese women have been observed and they returned behind the thick bars” (Pop, 31.08.2006)

There’s no elephant in the room : 

There’s no elephant in the room The state authorities (Local Labour Inspectorate, the County Council representatives) and the Chinese Embassy intervened and performed monitoring visits. The official position was that the Chinese workers had a legal status in Romania and there was no breach in the law related to their activity. But aren’t they living better in Bacau than in their native towns or villages back in China? What does this situation say about their liberties and those enjoyed by the rest of the Romanian population? Why there has been no reaction from activists in Bacau or elsewhere?

ILO’s description of labour rights : 

ILO’s description of labour rights 1. Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining 2. Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour 3. Effective abolition of child labour 4. Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation How many rights has broken the Romanian employer?

What did the community have to say? : 

What did the community have to say? Research methodology: 188 questionnaires, 25 questions, non-probabilistic sample, snowball method of identifying subjects; Criteria of sampling: they have/had closed relatives working abroad; Research time: August – September 2007.

Vox populi: Fears versus optimism : 

Vox populi: Fears versus optimism Fears… “there could appear the Chinese mafia”, “I think that a large number of Chinese would lead to conflicts and increased crime”, “I think we would not understand each other – we have different culture and traditions”, “it’s hard enough for us, how will they manage?”, “if the Chinese are coming here, where will the Romanians go? Romanians have the right to stay in their own country, there is nowhere better then home”, “they will end up ruling us.”

Vox populi: Fears versus optimism : 

Vox populi: Fears versus optimism Optimism… “Chinese are smart, they have good taste and tasty food”, “we could have a larger cultural diversity”, “they are serious”, “they are hardworking”, “competition on the labour market is good”, “they would enrich our culture and we could become as cosmopolite as in America”, “they could become a tourist attraction in our town”, “they could come with new ideas”.

Instead of conclusions… : 

Instead of conclusions… There was a large number of non-responses, or of “I don’t know” type of responses – lack of awareness and limited contact. 2. There was a sense of social justice, due to the fact that the respondents thought that the Chinese workers were enjoying less rights than the Romanian employees, while the employer is perceived as IRESPONSIBLE in respecting their rights to free association and collective bargaining.

Instead of conclusions : 

Instead of conclusions 3. The large number of non-responses or answers type “I don’t know” could be the result of the fact that this phenomenon is new or that, despite the presence in the media, the subject is not actually on the public agenda. 4. Respondents tend to position themselves in a situation of differential exclusion towards the Chinese workers, rather than embracing diversity probably due to their own migration experience.

Life is like a box of chocolate… : 

Life is like a box of chocolate… In the past years the Romanian Government has been issuing an increasing number of work permits for foreigners. Due to globalization, Romania being a border country of EU and the increase in our standard of living, we could become a destination country for migration. HOW WE WILL WE MANAGE DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETY IS A REAL CHALLENGE!

Thank you! : 

Thank you! www.csr-romania.blogspot.com

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