You can listen to the show @: Houston LIVE! | Affirmative Action
~ Beginning of Transcript
Good Afternoon, this is Rudy Sutherland and I am your host for today’s episode of Houston LIVE! I want to say welcome to those of you listening in online and those who have called in.
If you have downloaded this show as a podcast from our archive, I sincerely hope the information is as relevant as when we first recorded it.
In this episode, we will be discussing the Affirmative Action Department of the CoH.
So without further delay, lets get started:
All who know me know that I am an unapologetic Capitalist.
Nevertheless, my many white-male colleagues ask from time to time, out of simple ignorance or sublime jest; why do we need an affirmative action function in this Country, or as I am attempting to re-brand; “market bias attenuation process”? WE are just fine with things as they are. Well, I generally have responded, that of course they are for you – you are in the management majority of our country. And, although you may be my friend socially; from a Capitalist perspective, you and I are institutional competitors. Because of History, It is what it is.
Any white-guy that says he is not biased is lying, deluded, or both. The same goes for minority-men and women. Bias is inherent to the human condition; much as the intellectuals would like to deny it.
But, I am no intellectual, and I am no victim. I fully embrace the free-market, IF it is free to be free; and I firmly believe in it. Therefore, my thesis is that if we can attenuate the systemic bias that you fully take advantage of with the benefit of deniability – I will outperform you in quality and service. It is that simple… or is it.
Look, my stated naïveté aside; we need a bias attenuation process because racial, gender, and socio-economic biases impedes the actualization of a true Free-Market society. Why do I say this? Because, there are more commodity (e.g., no means of differentiation) products and services sold than any other. And, when specialization is not possible or available as a means of differentiation; folks go with who they subjectively want to give the business too for subjective reasons. In general, under most circumstances; people like to work with or do business with folk like them – it’s a proven phenomenon.
Case in point – All things considered equal; in east Texas, rednecks like to do business with rednecks; not so much the Asian who just decided to rustle cattle. We all know that who we do business with impacts micro-economies. For instance, when Bob does business with Jim to buy a product he knows he can get from anyone; he knows that he is helping Jim’s kids go to college – because he has a relationship with Jim. When Abraham Abdulla comes to him to sell the same commodity, even at a slightly lower price; he stays with whom he is most comfortable for subjective reasons.
Now, we also know that people carry their biases with them. So, when the management, decision making ranks of an organization that buys primarily commoditized products and services is made up of primarily middle-aged, white-males – who do you think they will chose to buy from? Thus recent findings OF THE 2009 STATE OF TEXAS DISPARITY STUDY: Between FY 2006 and 2008, Texas issued $38.6 Billion in Prime Contracts… 92.36% went to White-Male owned firms. Is this bias or are Minorities & Non-Minority Women simply incompetent?
I posit that it is bias.
So now, the next question is; how do you eliminate, or attenuate, bias when it is a subjective phenomenon that occurs on an individual level?
Well, from a bottom-up perspective, you first have to address the human condition to a large extent; but, from top-down perspective, you have to change the demographics of the folk making the decisions. Are White-males more competent to hold the upper-management positions within the State of Texas or the City of Houston than other color males, or Women for that matter? I don’t think so.
But, let’s not fool ourselves; left to their own devices; other color males, or Women, would be prone to just as much bias if they were primarily in power. No, take that back; my experience is that other color males and Women are harder on their own for FEAR of appearing biased… ever wonder why ALL of the supplier diversity and affirmative action leadership is minority or white-women? Do white-men simply not see a good career path there? But, I digress…
Ok, so now let’s get into meat and potatoes…
Before we get started though I would like to thank our sponsors, this show is made possible by the generous support of my firm ALJUCAR & Co., the premier strategic consulting & program management firm in the SBA 8(a) & VA Serviced Disabled Veteran Programs; ECCHIES Uniforms, a women-owned business who’s tag line is “buy direct, for less”; and Major funding is provided by 8(a) certified LinTech Global, who’s tag line is “Business &Technology Solutions that Make Sense” get more information on LinTech @ http://www.lintechglobal.com; and, Project & Knowledge Concepts, an 8(a) certified project & program management powerhouse with offices in Herndon, Virginia and Franklin, NC; AND Additional funding is provided by Meridian Working Capital: whose tag line is “Providing capital today for tomorrow’s growth!”.
I ask that you support our sponsors so that we can continue to bring you timely high quality intelligence and content; and continue to expand our Voice.
I want to thank Ms. Velma Laws and the City of Houston Affirmative Action department for providing a completed profile to share on the VSBA Blog after this show.