‘Exclusively indigenous’? Just look at the facts…

Mark Rae said in your magazine (Business Insight, DW 24 April), ‘Look at any large US company and you’ll see an almost exclusively indigenous workforce.’ Is he referring to Native Americans, who are often referred to as American Indians?

Does he not know about the ‘melting pot’, as the US population refers to itself? Although the Bush administration has made it more difficult to get work visas, they can still be had. Many foreign students come here for design education and end up staying. There are hurdles, but they can be overcome.

If ‘any large US company’ includes Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Whirlpool or Procter & Gamble, just looking at the names of their senior executives will demonstrate their multicultural diversity. The same goes for design consultancies like Landor, Ideo and even R/GA. One of the best things about the US is that designers come from all over. Even in our office, there is one person from Belarus and another from South Korea. One of our consultants’ parents comes from the Philippines and she is married to an Italian-American. I married an Argentinian. This is the norm here. Probably more than 25 per cent of the population speaks Spanish as their first language.

I once called up the head of one of the largest brand identity consultancies in the US about a rumour that he was opening an office in London, and he said, ‘Why would I want to do that? I have representatives of 21 countries in my design group’. Needless to say, engineers, hairdressers, actors and physicians are similarly multicultural and multilingual. Non-hispanic whites, together with white hispanics, represent 66 per cent of the US population. We have substantial numbers of people here from Ireland, Germany, Poland, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, China, India and France. This is why there is such good food in our big cities.

Have I convinced you that Rae’s statement is wrong yet?

RitaSue Siegel, President,  RitaSue Siegel Resources,  Fifth Avenue, New York, US

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