The ‘colored entrance’ to White-owned businesses

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HARRY C. ALFORD

 

(NNPA)—For the most part, corporate America’s employees are satisfied with their careers. There is usually a chart to review in terms of responsibility. Is the employee moving up the “ladder” and heading towards more executive responsibility? That is correlated with salary. The greater the responsibility, the greater the pay and the less tolerance for any era or bad judgment. If one reaches as far up the ladder as he or she can, then they will ultimately seek new employment that offers more opportunity or capitulate to the end of their improvement and sit there until retirement.

There are many divisions within a major corporation. Engineering, Manufacturing, Logistics, Marketing, Sales, Legal, IT, Human Resources, Procurement, Research/ Development, Security and Maintenance are some of the major divisions. Each of these divisions is usually managed by a vice president, director, chairman or president. They report to the President/CEO or Chairman/CEO.

Somewhere in this maze of divisions is a particular occupation sometimes known as Manager of Minority Procurement or Diversity Procurement or some other form that reflects on a minority procurement program that the company alleges it has. The person they pick will generally have less than a successful tenure under his/her belt. Their past with the corporation is usually lackluster and their future is considered to be vague or doomed to failure. This is the prototype of who they want to represent them as Black-owned businesses and other minorities seeking to do business are directed to his or her office. It’s the colored entrance while White-owned firms head to the procurement division where the real deals are done. The Black rep reminds one of that great novel, “The Spook who sat by the Door” by Sam Greenlee.

This individual has little power and no respect among members of the corporation. If a crisis arises that involves the corporation’s record on minority business, the company will refer the matter to someone high up in the procurement division.

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