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Essays About Diversity In The Workplace

Essays About Diversity In The Workplace

















































Essay: Diversity in the Workplace

ABSTRACT: As companies are becoming more and more diverse its becoming more and more important for companies to understand and manage it. The people of different background, races, religion creates diverse workforce. There is an importance of having diverse workforce to provide better performance. There are perspectives of managing the diverse workforce, which require organization leaders and managers of being responsible of attaining better diverse workforce. INTRODUCTION Diversity means differences, difference of age, sex, race, religion and culture etc. People with different demographic differences working in the organization makes diverse workforce. And it is becoming more important for the organizations to know about these differences and how to manage it. Diversity is also the common issue in the workforce environment, in some companies employees often get discriminated or misunderstood because of the diverse features. So it is important for the companies to manage the diversity workforce to value best performance. Most important aspect these days is to train the managers to handle the diverse workforce. What is the managers role in handling the diverse workforce? GROWTH & IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DIVERSE WORKFORCE: Many organizations are engaging in activities to manage their employees of different genders, ages, race, sexual orientations, etc. When demographic diversity is valued, all employees, even the non-traditional (i.e. other than white males), are encouraged to participate fully and develop their unique skills and perspectives. a) GROWTH: Diversity is increasing everyday in everyday in every organization; In America 1 in 4 Americans belongs to a minority or is foreign-born. Women, who currently make up less than half the work force, are expected to fill 65 percent of the jobs created during this decade. “Whether you are a business owner, executive, salesperson or customer- service professional, your success will increasingly depend on your ability to function in a culturally diverse marketplace,” (Profiting in America’s Multicultural Marketplace’ Lexington Books) Over the next decade, companies realize that they must have a diverse workforce and that each member of that workforce must truly embrace principles of diversity to realize the longevity, growth, and increased profits. Women, people of color, and immigrants will soon hold almost three- quarters of all jobs in this country (Jackson et al. 1992; Johnston, 1991). b) CONCERN: Organizations are getting more concerned of developing the diverse workforce over the years to attain better result and competitiveness. Organizations have been advised to attract, develop, and retain males and females of all ages, skin colors, cultural backgrounds, and physical capacities to remain competitive (Cox and Blake, 1991). c) NEED: Companies that accommodate the special needs of the demographically diverse workforce (by redefining the structure of the work day for those with childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities, or providing qualified assistants and/or apparatus for employees with disabilities) will become more appealing places to work and will thereby reduce absenteeism and turnover costs. They have also asserted that organizations that value differences will cultivate non-traditional markets, by dint of their apparent progressiveness and their ability to assess non-traditional preferences; and will enjoy greater creativity, problem solving, and responsiveness as a result of the wider range of viewpoints brought to bear on tasks. (Cox and Blake, (1991) EFFICTIVINESS OF HAVING DIVERSITY IN WORKFORCE Why should companies concern themselves with diversity? Many managers answered this question with the assertion that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally. But today managers are voicing a second notion as well. A more diverse workforce, they say, will increase organizational effectiveness. It will lift morale, bring greater access to new segments of the marketplace, and enhance productivity. In short, they claim, diversity will be good for business. Research stated that the Canadian companies leading the way in the area of diversity management have discovered that by embracing the elements of ethnic and cultural diversity in their workforce they have enhanced their ability to understand and tap new markets, both within Canada and abroad. Research generated from a variety of fields predicts that important benefits will accrue from demographic heterogeneity in organizations by increasing the variance in perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups can bring (e.g. Thomas and Ely, 1996). IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING DIVERSITY As the companies of today are getting more and more diverse, the need of managing the diverse workfare is increasing. All Countries specially USA and Canada are having more diverse workforce everyday. So it is becoming important for the companies manage the diversity to get better results out of employees. Research stated that Forward-thinking Canadian organizations have recognized that competing successfully in the new global marketplace requires more than the latest technology, most efficient production processes, or most innovative products. Canadian organizations’ competitive strength is increasingly contingent on human resources. Competing to win in the global economy will require an ability to attract, retain, motivate and develop high- potential employees of both genders from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The challenge facing today’s corporate leaders is to foster an organizational culture that values differences and maximizes the potential of all employees. In other words, leaders must learn to manage diversity. PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGING DIVERSITY Organizations have to follow the many guidelines to get diversity stick: v They have to focus on getting the best talent out of the person regardless of different age, sex and other demographic differences. v They have to develop career plans for all employees of the organization including the minorities. v They have to promote minorities to responsible positions in the workplace. v Make managers responsible to obtain diversity goals by managing its employees well. Managers also have to communicate well with all the employees and listen to their problems that are of different background or cultures. v They Build diversity into senior management. There are many aspects to impartially managing diversity as a manager and establishing the right attitude in the rest of the department. Here’s a look at some of the most important: a) Expectations Bias can lead you to expect less productive work or more “goofing off” from certain employees. Classroom studies have repeatedly shown that students live up-or down-to their teacher’s expectations. A similar pattern can be seen on the job. Expect the best from your employees, and give them the training and resources to provide it, and they’ll deliver. b) Labels: Words are powerful weapons, and as with any weapon, we should know whether they’re loaded or not. How you refer to people from diverse populations requires some conscious sensitivity. This involves more than not using crude references; it means using words preferred by the people themselves. Such words change over time, the way the term “Negro” gave way to “black” and “African American.” “Oriental” has been replaced by “Asian.” “Handicapped” has been replaced by “a person with a disability.” Individuals may have their own preferences as well. If you’re not sure how to refer to someone, ask. A moment’s awkwardness now will prevent misunderstanding and resentment later. c) Crowd control. Imagine yourself the only female in an unenlightened, all-male department. Day after day, coworkers started misbehaving or treating you differently. That’s just the start of a whole range of behavior, from the subtle to the blatant, that you could be subjected to. In a very short time you’d be ready to file against your boss and the company for allowing sexual harassment. Depending on how his or her coworkers behave, the employee may feel the same discouragement, anger, even fear. Not engaging in such behavior yourself isn’t enough; manager also have to eliminate jokes, name-calling, sabotage-whatever form discrimination may take-in others. Managers are responsible for establishing and maintaining the atmosphere of the department or else you’ll be held accountable. While managing diversity is a challenge, keep in mind that there is always enormous differences- even if we pretend there aren’t. Montaigne, the French essayist, said it this way: “There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.” CONCLUSION Diversity in workforce is growing in all countries special USA, Canada and Europe. With having more diverse work environment organization can produce better performance. It is important for the companies to know diversity and how to handle the issues relating to it. Also the need of the diverse workforce is getting more not only because there are different people but also because they can produce better results with having different types of people working. Leaders in the organizations should learn diversity (differences of gender, age, sex and religion in their work environment and also to communicate will between them) and how to manage it effectively.

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‘Diversity’ Is Rightly Criticized As An Empty Buzzword. So How Can We Make It Work?

What happens when «diversity» becomes a corporate buzzword?

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Over at the New York Times Magazine. ambivalence toward capital «D» diversity courses through Anna Holmes’ excellent essay «Has ‘Diversity’ Lost Its Meaning? » Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel and now an executive at Fusion. notes that while corporate odes to «diversity» are de rigeur these days at places like SXSW and fancy media conferences, these lofty pronouncements often deflate back at the office. It’s easy to get execs to say workplace diversity is necessary, and much harder to find examples of success.

A big part of the problem, says Holmes, is that we keep throwing the word around without defining our terms. «Diversity» has great approval numbers, even as it’s kneecapped by its own nebulousness. Holmes quotes a venture capitalist whose company has had some challenges in this arena — accusations of gender-based harassment, an overwhelmingly white workforce — but said he remains «deeply committed to diversity,» right before quipping, «We have two new partners who are so diverse, I have a challenge pronouncing their names.»

That weak joke illustrates one of Holmes’ sharpest points: These discussions tend to begin and end with talk of sticking differently hued butts in cubicles. And Holmes says it’s often people of color who are saddled, explicitly or implicitly, with the task of rounding up all those «nontraditional» hires:

«Over the past few years, numerous editors have reached out to me asking for help in finding writers and editors of color, as if I had special access to the hundreds of talented people writing and thinking on- and offline. I know they mean well, but I am often appalled by the ease with which they shunt the work of cultivating a bigger variety of voices onto others, and I get the sense that for them, diversity is an end — a box to check off — rather than a starting point from which a more inte­grated, textured world is brought into being.»

The tech industry has come under fire a lot on this issue, but it’s hardly exclusive to Silicon Valley. Television writers rooms are notoriously monochromatic — a March report from the Writer’s Guild of America found that nearly 86 percent of the people working as TV writers were white. That number is even more glaring when you consider that the most dedicated consumers of the medium are black and brown. To move the needle, some networks have tried to pay executive TV producers to hire a «diverse» writer every season. But as Aisha Harris of Slate writes. that strategy has yielded dismal results: The number of television writers of color has actually trended downward, with candidates of color jockeying for that one seat in the room. «Everyone knows who the diversity writer is,» one told Harris. «You’re the one who’s the only one.»

And, you know, glass houses and all that — newsrooms aren’t doing much better. Across the board, the places that tell America’s stories, fictive or otherwise, stubbornly resist looking like America.

Ever since Holmes’ and Harris’ essays came out, we’ve been wondering: What does meaningful diversity look like? If CEOs want to get serious about addressing the critiques raised in these pieces — if they don’t want to be That Guy — there’s a whole bunch of ongoing, messy new calculations they’re going to have to embrace, or at least get used to.

I recently wrote about an example of all this playing out in real life — and a primer on what not to do if genuine workplace diversity is your true aim. A few years back, when the comedian Wyatt Cenac, late of The Daily Show. criticized Jon Stewart, the show’s host and his boss, over Stewart’s impression of Herman Cain — Cenac thought it shaded into racial mockery — the two got into an exchange that was so heated that at the end, Cenac wasn’t sure whether he still had a job. Cenac, who was at the time The Daily Show’ s only black writer, says he felt a responsibility to speak up, even if he’d be going it alone.

«I think that’s the burden a lot of people have to have when you are ‘the one,’ » Cenac told Marc Maron this summer. «You represent something bigger than yourself whether you want to or not.» The exchange soured his relationship with Stewart for the remainder of their time as colleagues.

«Bringing in new perspectives» — that oft-trumpeted goal of workplace diversity — will make disagreements like that one inevitable; hell, a lot of people might argue that’s the whole point.

But «bringing in new perspectives» — that oft-trumpeted goal of workplace diversity — will make disagreements like that one inevitable; hell, a lot of people might argue that’s the whole point. Diversity can’t be productive unless there’s real thought about how to invite and productively metabolize pushback against accepted norms, because that pushback is going to come.

It also means getting comfortable with the idea that efforts to incorporate a wider array of voices might be greeted with a good deal of skepticism, at least at first. When Code Switch initially launched, we got a lot of side-eyeing from people on Twitter who thought our tone — which is immediately distinct from NPR’s «house voice» — was too affected, that we were trying too hard to sound down. NPR has long been tweaked for its overwhelming whiteness — until we posted our pictures online, a lot of readers assumed we were white, too — so we weren’t totally surprised at being taken for interlopers. Earning trust was going to take time.

It’s not unlike what happened when Leslie Jones, a black comedian, was hired by Saturday Night Live after lots of criticism over its track record on black female hires (essentially nonexistent). Soon into her tenure, Jones ticked people off with a now-infamous bit about how she would have had an easier time finding a man as a slave. It’s not hard to imagine that joke going over better on a different show with a different audience, say Chappelle’s Show. For a lot of people, SNL simply hadn’t earned that joke, even if a black woman was making it.

A lesson from both of these examples: When you hire people of color to represent a brand with a less-than-gleaming track record on diversity, you’re putting them on the front lines. That means companies need a plan for supporting them through the inevitably rocky «probationary period.»

On the other end of the spectrum, real workplace diversity also means recognizing the real talent and creativity of your shiny new hires. For example, last month, BuzzFeed’s Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu, co-hosts of its wildly popular Another Round podcast (and friends of mine), had a surprisingly pointed and candid sit-down with Hillary Clinton, who’s famously adept at deflecting pointed and candid questions. It’s hard to think of any legacy news outlet sitting a presidential favorite down with young, black women who aren’t traditional journalists instead of a seasoned Washington reporter with an insider pedigree. But the episode has been widely hailed. and it’s a great example of recalibrating the «rules» on who gets to do what, and actually capitalizing on all those «new perspectives» and «nontraditional voices» the folks in charge say they want more of.

The bottom line: Having different kinds of people in the room means thinking concretely about different kinds of stressors — and opportunities. It means acknowledging that our workplace cultures were shaped by the people who’ve been in the room for a minute, and now the furniture needs to be rearranged. Some of that rearrangement is literal, like the decades-long fight for lactation spaces in America’s office buildings, or considering whether black reporters covering cases like Eric Garner and Walter Scott might need mental health counseling a la war reporters. Some are less tangible — different cultural references (Empire jokes alongside True Detective memes), different cultural sensitivities (Stewart vs. Cenac) — but no less crucial to make space for.

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