Cultural Diversity

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Importance of Understanding Cultural, Ethnic, and Gender Differences by Managers and Professionals in a Business Setting

Abstract

Diversity in the workplace is one of the most critical challenges facing organizations today. When ignored or mismanaged, it brings challenges and obstacles that can hinder the organizations ability to succeed. For this reason, workshops, training programs, and college courses have been implemented to offer a copious amount of information on understanding and managing diversity as a success key to be competitive in this complex world of business. Managing diversity is a continually evolving process targeted at improvement for the success in the organization.

The world's increasing integration requires more interaction among people from diverse cultures, beliefs, gender and backgrounds than ever before. People no longer live and work in a small marketplace and they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. For this reason, organizations need diversity to become more creative and receptive to change. Managers are the front line operators because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving, and diversifying. Since managing diversity remains an important organizational challenge, managers must learn the managerial skills needed in a multicultural work environment. Managers must be prepared to teach themselves and others within their organizations to value multicultural differences in their employees so that everyone is treated with dignity. Diversity is the presence of people from a wide range of backgrounds and possessing different traits. Differences in age, race, ethnic origin, culture, physical abilities, religion and sexual orientation are just some possible contributors to diversity (Neil Kokemuller and Demand Media, 2012). The need to understand diversity is also driven by women in the workplace. Today's workforce has the highest levels of...
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