Diversity relates to gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief. Diversity also refers to the myriad 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.
I have taken the opportunity to explain my perception of age, gender, personality and ethnic types of diversity and demographic characteristics and differences.
With the fact that today’s workplace has individuals that vary in age, most employees can be placed into one of 4 categories: Mature, Baby Boomer, Generation X’ers and Millenials. The members of each group, based on age, are generally easy to identify; however definitely have different characteristics.
The Mature group consists of people born prior to 1946. Generally speaking, members within this group have a high respect for authority, place duty before pleasure, are patient, avoid challenging the system and are dedicated to the project or job once they accept it. They also place a high value on honor and integrity.
The Baby Boomers are primarily characterized by a sense that they live to work, maintain an sense of optimism, willing to go into debt, count on future income, and strive for convenience and personal gratification. They also are team and process oriented. Additionally, many are taking steps to try to preserve their youth.
The Generation X’ers are born between 1965 and 1980. Their characteristics are work to live – not live to work, view jobs more in terms of a contract, and believe in clear and consistent expectations. They usually stay at jobs longer if there are promotional opportunities. They also desire versatility.
The Millenial’s characteristics are almost at the other end of the spectrum from that of the Mature group. Millenials appear to be living in the moment, rely on technology to perform as much of the assignment as possible, “demand” clear and consistent expectations to ensure productivity and either question or challenge many things. This group is the most diverse demographically.
Gender characteristics are one the most visible of the diverse and demographic characteristics within an organization. Historically speaking, w...
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...ly influences the overall success of the organization and is a necessary diversity factor within organizations to be successful.
A diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. Diverse work teams bring high value to organizations. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and employers will gain the advantage when employees are selected and positioned so that their talents, skills and personality traits are properly utilized.
Understanding Generational Differences Helps You Manage a Multi-age Workforce (2001)
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Schermerhorn, John R. & Hunt, James G. & Osborn, Richard N. (2003)
Chapter 4: Diversity and Individual Differences [Electronic version] Eighth edition.
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