On June 5, students from Professor Mary Gatta’s Ethnographies of Work class presented their research on the many challenges employees face in the workplace to members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The presentations were part of the students’ semester-long ethnographic research project.
Four groups presented their findings on issues facing today’s workforce: the experiences of minority groups (women and people of color) in top leadership positions; the challenges workers face integrating work and family; the challenges and opportunities in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce; and the experiences of workers as they engage in managing workers of different generational groups.
Chris Martin, Grace Beasley, and Beth Shefflan of the SHRM followed the presentations with questions and feedback.
As part of the project, students got a chance to visit and interview staff at six organizations: West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc., Carl Marks, ADP, JASA (Jewish Association Serving the Aging), Serino Coyne LLC, and Unite Here. The on-site visits greatly enhanced the students’ experiential learning experience. At the end of the session, students got a chance to present their own elevator pitches to the SHRM professionals.