(New York Times) — Q. Is it a good idea to get involved with affinity groups — for example, a group representing African-American women or Latino men?
A. Affinity groups can help you personally and professionally as long as the group doesn’t exist solely as a way for members to meet and socialize with one another. Steer yourself toward groups that have executive sponsors and a strategic intent to help the business with issues like recruiting, product development and marketing, said Peter J. Aranda III, chief executive of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which helps universities identify and recruit underrepresented minorities for M.B.A. programs. “Affinity groups can operate like focus groups,” Mr. Aranda said, “advising the company how to communicate with and market their products to different populations and what mistakes they may be making.”