clear that we in the University of California do not recruit people to fire them. In other words, when we recruit an assistant professor we do so with the expectation that he or she will achieve tenure. It is actually one of the duties of the chair of the department to mentor junior faculty toward tenure. Not all chairs do this. Some of them are very detached. But the deans should be able to insist on more of this kind of mentoring, since they are supposed to be monitoring chairs anyway.
There are things that the universities can do to emulate what has been done in industry. For example, the University of California had a minority postdoctoral program, which unfortunately was cut out because of Proposition 209. That program prepared several minorities for tenure track positions at the University of California, Davis. This program also helped prepare other minorities for such positions at other universities.
These kinds of programs work. They help to increase the diversity in the university. They can be done in ways that do not put stigma on the people involved.
James D. Burke: Thank you. I just wanted to comment on that too. There are a lot of examples around about why diversity makes things better. The one that any American ought to be able to understand is professional sports. If diversity works with sports, why not elsewhere?
D. Ronald Webb, Procter & Gamble: Very good talk. I enjoyed it. I just wanted to pick up on one thing you said that I did not mention in my presentation, and I want to echo it here because it is important. In attracting a diverse workforce, you cannot lower the bar and you cannot lower expectations. It might work to get someone in the door, but the reality is, as time goes by, everyone is compared with their peers. If they cannot keep up, it will become obvious. They will be unhappy, we will be unhappy, and it does not work.
Having said that, we are talking about models that work in bringing about a diverse workforce. As a doctoral recruiter at Procter & Gamble, I see about a hundred applications for every person we hire. We typically focus on identifying the top four or five candidates to eventually extend one job offer. I submit that the distinctions between the top four or five people out of a hundred applicants are very subtle.
My point is that we will commonly see a woman or a person of color among our top five candidates. However, if the tendency of the hiring manager is to go for the majority person, i.e., the white male, they can justify the decision by stating they hired the “best” person. I submit this can be a case of subtle bias, because we are talking about fine distinctions between individuals at this point of the hiring process. What you need to do is give people chances. It is not necessarily taking risks, because overall their skills and experiences may be very much alike. What you want to do is open up your mind to change and let other people who might not have been picked previously have a chance to be offered a position.
James D. Burke: One of the things that we ended up having to do with our recruiters was to say, “If you have a strong candidate and you want to see the person interviewed, for heaven’s sake, in your report, will you ‘sell’ the individual, and not just talk about what they did.” Make it irresistible for a manager to say, “I want to have this person in.”