RSS icon

Top Stories

DEAR WORKFORCE

Dear Workforce How to Handle Roommates at Our Annual Conference

I work for a company that makes many AIDS drugs. At our annual conference, hundreds of sales reps fly to a destination for four days. To manage costs they are forced to share rooms and are paired randomly. Many of the reps are gay and some others are homophobic. Some people are uncomfortable sharing rooms with gay colleagues. We wondered how to handle the situation without abusing individuals’ rights or drawing attention to them. Any ideas?
May 15, 2003
ASK A QUESTION
Related Topics: Dear Workforce
Reprints
Dear Roomies with a View:

If money, time, geographical constraints and psychological defenses could besurmounted, I would provide cultural/gender diversity training for all beforethe annual meeting. However, being limited to the real world, consider thisoption: give all attendees a designated time period for choosing a roommate.After the cutoff date, those without roommates will be randomly assigned one.This procedure does not put the spotlight on sexual orientation or sexual fears.
All parties, at least theoretically, have some freedom to choose. Some maydecide it's too much effort to make a choice, but if there is a discretionarytime period individuals may be less disgruntled about the random assignment.
However, at your annual meeting, I suggest having some diversity/HIVmythology training within the context of knowing your product, the medicalcondition, the customer and client, the broad marketplace, etc. A speakeroutlining how a greater amount of objective knowledge and a smaller amount ofemotional bias could enhance sales success likely would have significantmotivational value regarding behavior, if not underlying attitudes.
SOURCE: Mark Gorkin, LICSW, The StressDoc, Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2002.
LEARN MORE: Read Avoiding Sexual-OrientationDiscrimination
The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
Ask a Question
Dear Workforce Newsletter
ASK A QUESTION

 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

If you have any questions or concerns about Workforce.com, please email customerservice@workforce.com or call 312-676-9900.

The Workforce fax number is 312-676-9901.

Sign up for Dear Workforce e-newsletters!

Comments powered by Disqus