A reader complements this post:
When I worked at ESPN in the mid ’90s, we had to attend diversity training. One story told in the training classes really struck me. I’ve been repeating the story for years and have tried to determine it’s true or apocryphal, without success. Maybe Dish readers have more info? It goes like this:
When Mobil was first experimenting with the technology for pay-at-the-pump at gas stations, the Board of Directors had to approve more investment money. At one Board meeting, discussion ensued and they voted it down. All of the people at the table were men, of course (this was maybe the early ’80s?). The Board left the room and one of them was walking to back to his office with his secretary, who had attended to take notes. He mentioned the pay-at-the-pump technology and said he saw no need for it. His secretary – female of course – then said something like: “Well, it would be real convenient for me with the kids. I wouldn’t have to take them out of the car and into the gas station to pay and then pack them all back up in the car. Especially the baby.”
A light bulb went off and the BoD member related it to the other members. Eventually the money was approved and the rest is history. Clearly, the point of using this story in a diversity training class was: not only listen but actively request feedback and input from people who are not like you. You might miss great opportunities if you don’t.
P.S. Love that your VFYW on Friday was a great picture of the American flag. On Flag Day. You guys are awesome.