In 1981 I began working at an organization of 2000 people just when a new administer took charge for more than a decade. He immediately instituted equal opportunity measures and training for employees as well as measures against sexual harassment. At the time equal opportunity was viewed as artificial because selections for employment and promotion favored non-white candidates in the the professional categories in which almost all employees were white. People conducted themselves professionally and over the decades the mix of people, including gay and lesbian, became part of life. That is, conversations about family and football teams included everyone in all offices. Hiring and promotions were based on merit and congruence with managers, with no need for equal opportunity measures, except in the hiring practices to maintain the proportion of hires from different groups who were excellently qualified to compete for jobs. A decade ago I rather suddenly realized this as I looked at the groupings in the cafeteria, where people gravitated to tables where they were most comfortable with people from their own cultures, though in the offices there was a natural ease among employees, in contrast to the environment in 1981 which was generally artificial and uncomfortable.
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