Overcoming Obstacles in a Diverse Workplace

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Diversity in the workplace is not a new idea or concept. From the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s the majority of people living in the United States were immigrants from other countries including Italy, Russia, and Ireland. Each of the members from these countries spoke different languages, came from different cultures, and had different customs and work ethics. Acceptance to them was fought for in the workplace in industries such as coal, steel, automobile manufacturing, and other labor forces. This type of struggle still continues today in the workplace from cultural differences, and language differences to racial and gender differences. This paper will examine the obstacles managers face when overcoming generational differences between generation X and Y as well as overcoming cultural and gender differences in the workplace. Differences in Generation X and Generation Y Although widely debated, the consensus is that the birth range for generation X and generation Y are from 1965 to 1980 and 1980 to 2000 respectively. According to Mhatre and Conger, “currently there are around 48 million individuals belonging to generation X, while generation Y is around 30 million” (Mahtre, K. and Conger, J., p. 73). These two generations differ in many ways. For instance, people in generation X prefer a more independent style of work. They do not like to be micromanaged and would rather be given the freedom to do their work and go home. Generation Y members, however seek guidance from their supervisors and would rather work in a team that includes structure, direction and collaboration. People from Generation X tend to be very negative and pessimistic with their outlook on life and work. In contrast, generation Y members are ve... ... middle of paper ... ... at hand. Conclusion In an ever changing workplace, with more people becoming part of the organization with varying backgrounds, it is important that the leader be able to handle issues that are related to the diversity within. If the leader will follow the six steps mentioned above, he or she will be able to better manage the issues that come with working in a diverse workplace. Works Cited Bateman, T., and Snell, S. (2013). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World, 10th Ed. New York, New York, McGraw-Hill. Clawson, J.G. (2012). Level Three Leadership, 5th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson. Mhatre, Ketan H.; Conger, Jay A. Journal of Leadership Studies. Fall2011, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p72-76. Mortazavi, Shahrnaz; Pedhiwala, Nisreen; Shafiro, Maggie; Hammer, Leslie. Community, Work & Family. May2009, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p251-273.
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