Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

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Cultural diversity in the workplace is becoming more and more prevalent. Corporations in all industries are encouraging minorities, women, elderly workers, people with disabilities as well as foreign workers to join white males in the workplace. The following analysis will focus on these groups and how companies are encouraging them to join an ever-expanding workplace.

Even if affirmative action is dismantled, diversity of the workforce is clearly here to stay. Business owners and managers, experts say, will still need to maintain or step up efforts to recruit and advance ethnic minorities in the year 2000 and beyond. That’s essentially because having a diverse work force and managing it effectively will simply be good business for various companies.

One business leader who is at the forefront of implementing diversity is the Xerox Corporation. Xerox implemented their strategy for diversification through an “aggressive, hard driving affirmative action plan.” (Managing Diversity: Lessons from Private Sector, AOL Electric Library).

The company has been successful in grasping Diversity by instilling it in it’s organizational culture and making it management priority. Xerox Corporation has taken on the imperative responsibility to implement plans that ensure a true representation of the community in which they are based and upholding a true picture of the globally based customers they serve. Their strategy is one that sets goals to recruit and retain minorities for previously restricted positions and hold management accountable for reaching those goals. It is an approach which has worked well for the organization. Because they are truly committed to tapping into the expanded creativity minorities bring, Xerox has moved from the mandatory focus of Affirmative action programs to the voluntary implementation of a business objective.

According to John Fernandez, author of the book “Managing a Diverse Work Force”, white males would make up only fifteen percent of the net additions to the labor force between 1985 and 2000. White males were already in the minority, representing only forty-five percent of America’s 115 million workers in 1985.

Other facts and figures also support the above mentioned trend. This is pointed out by The Career Exposure Network, a premier on-line career center and job placement service. According to the Network:


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...edge the disadvantaged past and disadvantaged present of certain groups of people. Embracing Diversity must truly be embraced as our living spaces and working spaces become ever more unified.


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Works Cited

1. Bergmann, Barbara., In defense of Affirmative Action, Basic Books A division of Harper Collins Publishers
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