Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity in the workplace is important and has legal recognition as of the 1960s when the United States prohibited discrimination against gender, ethnicity, race, religion, and national origin. Diversity in the workplace is increasing in today’s organizations from the rapid shifts in demographics from globalization, development, and education (Wylie, 2004). Today, the average company is seeing a job market that is flooded with more women, minority groups, disabled, lesbians and gays, and elderly workers. However, diversity is not limited to these parameters as there are many characteristics that when combined make people different or similar (Sonya, 2008).
Diversity is important for organizations today; it not only improves the business image of the organization, but also offers employees and the company tangible and intangible benefits. Fostering workplace diversity leads to the ...view middle of the document...
In addition, the company’s performance improves from the increase in production and knowledge from a diverse team with different viewpoints and will also offer a larger service range to consumers.
To achieve the benefits of diversity in the workplace, management needs to create diversity culture using diversity awareness programs. For example, Southwest Airlines achieves diversity and is currently the leader in diversity workplaces in the US with a large Latino workforce (PR Newswire, 2008). This is because the airline uses diversity awareness programs like Hispanic Heritage month to celebrate Latino art, the youth, and their future. Winners in this competition receive over $1 million in college scholarships, college credit courses, and monetary prizes (PR Newswire, 2008). The airline also offers employees free Spanish language courses with cultural exchange programs to make the workers more sensitive. The airline also uses its Latino Art Beat’s competition to highlight young talent. American companies with a global workforce like Southwest Airlines use diversity awareness programs to make the workforce aware of culture and language differences to reduce conflict and increase harmony.
The greatest challenge of achieving diversity and enjoying the fore mentioned benefits of diversity is the attainment of effective communication. Any diversity program requires the workforce to overcome perceptual, language, and cultural barriers. However, this is difficult because these mostly lie in the human’s behavior, beliefs, or social norms. As management, it is even more difficult to manage diversity successfully from challenges like resistance to change.
Sonya, B.L. (2008). Diversity in the Workplace: A Study of Gender, Race, Age, and Salary Level. Ann Arbor, MI: Proquest Information and Learning Company.
Southwest airlines and latino art beat partner to honor hispanic heritage month. (2008, Sep 15). PR Newswire. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/450695322?accountid=45049.
Wylie, K. (2004). Diversity in the Workplace. Munich, GRIN Publishing GmbH, Doi: 10.3239/9783638015448.