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America’s workforce is continuously changing. Businesses today hire and retain culturally diverse employees to compete in the globalize market. Companies are developing ways to tap into and capitalize upon the talents of their workforces. They are discovering how to value the diversity of their workforces and the potential that diversity brings in flexibility, ingenuity and problem solving are helping them achieve their goals.

Diversity can be differences in age, gender, ethnicity, and religion. Having such a diverse workforce can be very challenging. (1) Today’s workforce is very diverse in respect to age. Before, corporate America consisted of workers ranging from twenty one up to late thirties to early forties. Now, we see people in their mid to late fifties going back to work. This trend has both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage of an older employee over a younger employee is his ability to use his years of experience in situations where a younger employee lacks experience. Another advantage for an older employee is his built relationship with existing customers. The disadvantage of an older employee over a younger employee is his inability to quickly adapt to his changing environment. Younger employees are more “hungry” compared to their older counter parts. Their hunger is fired by their goal to quickly move up the corporate ladder.

(2) Gender also poses a challenge in the work force. Today, more and more women are entering the workforce. As such, the working environment has greatly changed. Companies make sure that sexual harassment does not happen. Men are expected to carefully say things without offending the opposite sex. The same rule also applies to women.

Sexual harassment includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other sexual conduct when (a) submission is either explicitly or implicitly a condition affecting academic or employment decisions; or (b) the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating, hostile or repugnant environment; or (c) the behavior persists despite objection by the person to whom the conduct is directed. Companies considers such behavior, whether physical or verbal, to be a breach of its standards of conduct. It will seek to prevent such incidents and will investigate and take corrective actions for violations of this policy.

There are two types of...

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...Filipina, he had spent some time in the Philippines a few years back.

(4) Religion plays an important part on an individual’s behavior. Being part of the same religious group can mean belongingness. For example, in a work place environment, if the four out of the six team members were Jewish, they would be closer to each other since they were all of the same faith. This closeness will result in openness among the four members which would improve productivity. However, such action could also have a negative effect. The other two members would feel excluded. They would also not be likely included in the other four members’ decisions which would mean that communication would not flow across the whole group, but only with in sub-groups. It would also lead to misunderstanding and poor performance.

In summary, most workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse as people from different genders, races, cultures, ethnic origins, and lifestyles find themselves working together. The key to making diversity work is management. Knowing what they are and understanding what effects (positive or negative) they have on the organization is very important to the success of the company.

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