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Giving Notice: Why the Best and the Brightest Leave the Workplace and How You Can Help Them Stay by Freada Kapor Klein

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Chapter 10. Toward a New Framework

Affirmative action programs in workplaces and universities have become synonymous with unfair advantage, yet no one blinks when top student athletes, legacy applicants, or the children of big donors receive an extra advantage. How did "affirmative action hire" become synonymous with "unqualified"? Why is "diversity" now a dirty word?

In the mid-1980s, while training senior managers of top-tier corporations, investment banks, and law firms, I used a case study to focus on gender issues. Jackie, the name given to the disguised character, was the only woman to join a joint venture team. Her first day on the job, she discovered the following greeting on a note stuck to her computer screen: "WELCOME TO THE AFFIRMATIVE ...

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