1. In general, we understand decisions to lay off employees when companies are losing money, but how should we feel about profitable companies that lay off employees? Powerful executive, Barry Diller, in 2009, condemned “preemptive” layoffs:
The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money, that’s not, let’s say, “industrially endangered,” to have just cutbacks sic so they can earn another $12 million or $20 million or $40 million in a year where no one’s counting is really a horrible act when you think about it on every level.
Do you think a socially responsible company that operates at a profit would engage in layoffs? Explain.
2. Some critics argue that Wall Street’s financial collapse in 2008–2009 was, at least in part, a product of male “group think.” They claim that men take excessive risks and women are more comprehensive thinkers. Hence, they say the financial community needs more women:
Barnard College president Deborah Spar dubbed our predicament [the Wall Street crash] a “one gender crash,” and The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof wonders if we might all have been better off had it been “ Lehman Brothers and Sisters.”
Do finance companies have a social responsibility to hire more women? Explain.