Pioneer: The Race Battle Never Ends

Debra D. Richards can appreciate the idea of valuing "diversity" in the workplace--one of today's favorite corporate buzzwords. Trouble is, she finds that diversity is still more concept than reality. A 34-year-old black marketing communications manager for a unit of Aetna Life & Casualty, Richards says almost all of the managers in her 290-person Irving (Tex.) office are white. "At times, I think we're making progress toward [a multicultural environment]," she says. "But on a day-to-day level, all I have to do is look around me and look at the people in leadership positions."

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