Diversity in the Workplace

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Abstract This paper is aimed at providing a framework for discussion of diversity and how it pairs with demographic characteristics. It is divided into four parts. Part I represents diversity in the workforce, which reflects the rational of organizations and how they handle diversity in the occupations of their workers. Parts II characterize diversity and age, as it responds to the fact that older people have the skill set to keep them working well past retirement age. Part III denotes religion, where as more employers are beginning to recognize the need to allow employees to take time to pray. Part IV symbolizes the personality traits in diversity and how “different” is not always viewed as wrong but can be an incentive to other employees. Introduction Diversity relates to gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Diversity also refers to the countless ways we are different in other respects such as educational level, job function, socio-economic background, personality profile, geographic location, marital status and whether or not one has family or other career responsibilities. Diversity in the Workplace Managing workplace diversity well requires the creation of an wide-ranging environment that values and utilizes the contribution of people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspective. All organizations policies, practices and processes that impact on the lives of employees need to recognize the potential benefits that can be derived from having access to range of perspectives and to take account of these differences in managing the workplace. Work systems, organizational structures, performance appraisal measurements, recruitment and selection practices and career development opportunities all have impact on the organizational behavior upon the management of diversity. Managing diversity builds on the EEO foundation but puts a new emphasis on the importance of valuing workplace difference as good management practice. This approach means that organizations must develop people management strategies to value and accommodate differences in the background perspective and family responsibilities of their employees. It requires them to acknowledge the positive contribution that diversity can... ... middle of paper ... ...fore, appreciating personality diversity means following risk-averse people when risks must be minimized, and following the risk-takers when its time to be bold. Appreciating personality diversity is the opposite of dogmatically expecting everyone to view situations the way you do, no matter how successfully you have been using your approach. We don’t all think alike but that’s often a good thing. Ultimately, to create a culture of tolerance that helps attract and retain employees, top executives need to set a tone that accommodates diversity practices. There is no point in diversity programs if management does not get it. And, there is no point in addressing age, and religion. The demographic diversification of the American workforce is well underway and will become only more challenging in the future. Reference: Bennett, Georgette (2005) Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious, Understanding Religious Demographics. Durden, Lisa (1994) Diversity in the Workplace: Bridging the Cultural Divide. Marofsky, Myrna (2005), Progroup – Innovative Diversity Solutions.
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