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Essay on Managing Diversity in the Workplace

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Essay on Managing Diversity in the Workplace

What do you understand by the term “managing diversity”? How can companies move closer to implementing diversity in the workplace?
The overall globalization of businesses has changed our world greatly in the last couple of years. One of the very vital concepts globalization has brought us is diversity in the workplace. Diversity covers differences in gender, age, language, background, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and religious believes. It can also be said, that diversity refers to the other ways in which the members of a community are different (Webster Dictionary). Managing workplace diversity involves recognizing the importance of individual differences and organization them in the workplace. Though, there is a term that goes hand in hand with diversity – that is discrimination. Sadly, the discrimination in the workplace still persists, even after years of working on abolishing and diminishing it.

It is unbelievable but the diverse workforce suffers from many forms of discrimination. To begin with, the discrimination on base of race and gender, though being greatly diminished, endures. There are some jobs in the market that would not employ women between ages of 28-35, because they are likely to require a maternity leave. There is also discrimination on the base of experience. If one does not have enough experience, he/she has less possibility to obtain certain jobs.

Moreover, if one has too much experience he/she is also faced with obstacles when looking for employment. Of course, there is discrimination on the base of age. There are millions of cases to be described in which the candidate for a position was unjustly denied because of being too young or too old for a position.

What is frightening indeed is that there is also discrimination on basis of religious believes. For example, a company that is production oriented and tends to have the employees work long hours and weekends may deny in employment to religious Jews or Christians, for whom there are days they cannot work on (Ruderman, 1995).

It is very important for every company whether it is big or little to value the diversity and eliminate discrimination. The ultimate gold of every company should be to create a workplace that respects and includes differences between the employees. Moreover, this workplace should acknowledge the unique contributions that diverse body of individuals can make.

Eliminating discrimination, acknowledging and managing diversity is not easy indeed. Thus, each organization that employs a diverse body of employees should develop people management strategies that contain differences in the background, religion, ethnicity, standpoints and gender responsibilities of their employees. To begin with, each business should follow the policies of equal employment opportunity (EEO). The EEO policies’ main goal is to deal with unrelenting disadvantage experienced by particular groups of people in the workplace. Workplace diversity principles should not remain a part of mission statement on the paper but they should be included in all aspects of human resource management, “such as planning, selection and recruitment, performance appraisal, training and development, occupational health and safety and workplace relations” (Loden, 1995).

Diversity in the company is one of the greatest treasures and success opportunities, though, as the same time, it is one of the biggest challenges in terms that it, as we saw above, creates discrimination (Jackson, 1992). Still, each organization should encourage diversity. It is important to remember that in order to keep the chances of discrimination low it is vital to understand what diversity is, why it is important, and how to effectively manage the business in terms of today’s globalization.

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