Workplace diversity practices refer to efforts organizations engage in to provide an inclusive corporate culture that values differences and promotes opportunities for all employees.
Traditionally, diversity programs have focused mostly on race and gender and other physical dimensions. However, today¡¦s definition of diversity covers a broad spectrum of individual and group differences ranging from work styles and generational perspectives to political and religious preferences. The illustration below represents how diversity can be understood from a corporate/business point of view:
Under the umbrella of diversity practices, organizations are employing methods of understanding and relationship-building that encourage the voices of all employees to be heard and embraced. To gain a competitive advantage, organizations are learning that perspectives of diverse employee groups add value and creativity to organizations¡¦ strategic direction. The practice of embracing and leveraging differences for the benefit of the organization through the collaboration of cultures, ideas and experience is something most organizations strive to achieve in today¡¦s global marketplace.
The Importance of Diversity
Diversity is even more relevant due to the interconnectivity of global markets. The world no longer operates in silos, nor do businesses. To remain competitive, organizations must understand the preferences and needs of their diverse customer base, which may include ethnic and cultural groups that go beyond simply race and gender. The intricacies of knowledge necessary to serve a wider market share require that organizational leadership rely upon a conglomeration of ideas.
Successful management of today¡¦s increasin...
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...ogram, diversity must be woven into the fabric of the organization.
1. Lockwood, N. R. (2005). Workplace diversity: Leveraging the Power of Difference for Competitive Advantage. SHRM Research Quarterly.
2. Mor Barak, M. E. (2005). Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
3. Australian Center for International Business. (2001). Diversity Management: The Big Picture. ((http://www.diversityaustralia.gov.au/_inc/doc_pdf/diversity_management.pdf)
4. Gardenswartz & Rowe. Statement of Philosophy and Approach Regarding Workplace Diversity. (http://www.gardenswartzrowe.com/about.html)
5. Esen, Evren. (2005). 2005 Diversity Workplace Practices: Survey Report. Society for Human Resource Management. (http://www.shrm.org-hrresources-surveys_published-2005_Workplace_Diversity_Practices_Survey_Report.pdf)
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