Cultural Differences in the Workplace – Teachers Sought

Participants and Teachers Sought:

Would you consider being a ‘Teacher’ at a Brown Bag Lunch to discuss cultural differences when working in a multicultural work environment?

Today, NetEffects’ employs over 100 foreign national IT experts in the United States working for our client companies.

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Periodically we hear from a hiring manager that someone has inadvertently has created an “Awkward Moment” when they innocently made a cultural faux pas simply because they were unaware of a countries culture and basic traditions.
For example:

  • In Africa, pointing the index and third fingers is considered as giving the “evil eye” to another person. An American may do this unknowingly, offending the other culture.
  • In some cultures, it may be inappropriate for a male interviewer to be alone in a room with a woman who is being interviewed.
  • Male employees from certain cultures react very adversely, or may “clam up” altogether, if forced to answer pointed questions from a female interviewer.
  • In the Orthodox Jewish culture, shaking hands with someone from the opposite gender is not appropriate.

We would like to help our clients better understand the sometimes subtle, sometimes direct, cultural differences.
To accomplish this, NetEffects is considering organizing a series of Brown Bag Lunch Seminars for small groups built around specific cultures. We are reaching out to our staff to see if anyone would be interested in becoming a “Teacher” or a resource person for your own culture? If you are, please contact Michelle Zipfel at 636-237-1000.
We will be in touch will all respondents.
NetEffects joined the World Affairs Council in 2007. As a multicultural organization we felt it was important to understand and appreciate the differences within our company. As a corporate member of the World Affairs Council, we have held discussions with the council regarding the issue of diversity in employment and the work issues that differing cultures often create.