Importance of Understanding Cultural, Ethnic, and Gender
Differences by Managers and Professionals in a
Shazia T. Ansari
January 11, 2015
Culture is defined “as a set of values, practices, traditions or beliefs a group shares, whether due to age, race or ethnicity, religion or gender” (Mayhew, 2014). Diversity is “the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation” (2014). Diversity in the workplace refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. It can include gender, age, personality, background, race, ethnic group, and much more. It doesn’t just include how people see themselves but how they see others as well and this affect how they act in a work environment. Some of the issues companies have to deal with are communication, adaptability and change. Embracing diversity and accepting and appreciating the differences means individual strengths and weaknesses can be understood and factored into building workplace teams. Recognizing and appreciating cultural differences is only the tip of the iceberg. Subordinate group attitudes that have developed over time may cause them to be defensive. It is necessary to work towards bridging the gap between dominant and subordinate groups to help them to communicate better. Managers and leaders need to step out of their comfort levels and develop knowledge of cultural differences and be sensitive to the fact that there are diversity issues. If you establish relationships at work with people who are different than you, you start to learn about the talent and knowledge that diverse culture can add to your company. Most hospitals have come to the realization that people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, genders, as well as religions, bring with them different values and perspectives. Managers have to make sure that top...
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