Workforce diversity is the range of workers’ attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors that differ by gender, race, age, ethnicity, physical ability, and other relevant characteristics; many U.S. organizations are now creating more diverse workforces, embracing more women, ethnic minorities, and foreign-born employees than ever before. Theories and techniques of diversity management have been developed and enthusiastically supported by a growing number of chief executives, training, specialists, diversity consultants and academics (Saji, 2004). Diversity can improve organizational effectiveness. Organizations that develop experience in and reputations for managing diversity will likely attract the best personnel (Carrel et al., 2000). Diversity requires a type of organizational culture in which each employee can pursue his or her career aspirations without being inhibited by gender, race, nationality, religion, or other factors that are irrelevant to performance (Bryan, 1999). Types of diversity:
Gender: Men and women usually work better together as a mixed group (shah, 2004). They tend to bring different positive attributes and are able to bring the experiences and interests of both genders of consumers Age: Age diversity can inject new blood into a business, whether by removing obstacles to promotion or attracting new employees from a broader age range. An age-diverse employer is well placed to develop a reputation as a socially responsible employer (Cohn, 2000). An employer with a good reputation develops a strong employment brand, and such a positive image will be able to attract a wider pool of candidates for recruitment, and give them an advantage in retaining their talent. From 1st October 2006 the Age Regulations prohibits discrimination, harassment and victimization against a person on the grounds of their age in relation to employment and vocational training (The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006). Race
Ethnic and Religious: refers to a group that shares language, national origin or religious tradition. Wang and Kleiner (2001) attribute lower social status of some groups (such as ethnic and religious minorities) to their generally lower incomes, which determine their ability to buy goods and services. Lower incomes are often the result of unfair organizational decisions caused by job discrimination (Cohn, 2000). Culture: refers to the behaviors and beliefs characteristic shared by a group of people. The ideas and behaviors of an ethnic group, for example, are part of their culture. Each culture has its own unique set of realities. Naqvi (2003) suggests that it would be naıve to transplant a foreign model of diversity management into another cultural context without the necessary customization. Language/Accent
Glass Ceiling: An invisible barrier separates women and minorities from top management positions Disability
Advantages of diversity:
The extent to which managers recognize diversity and its potential advantages and disadvantages defines an organization’s approach to managing the diversity (Adler, 1997). A number of diversity proponents argue that a culturally diverse work force leads to sustainable competitive advantage and ultimately superior performance (Barney & Wright, 1998; Cox & Blake, 1991; John - son, 1999; Richard, 2000; Triandis, Kurowski, & Gelfand, 1994). Many researchers found that diverse groups make higher quality decisions (McLeod & Lobel, 1996; Watson, Kumar, & Michaelsen, 1993; Miller, Burke, & Glick, 1998; Lawrence, 1997). Diverse educational training and education among top management team members has been shown to positively influence on return on investment, sales growth, engage in more creative problem solving, and have the potential for increased productivity (McLeod & Lobel, 1996; Watson, Kumar, & Michaelsen, 1993; Miller, Burke, & Glick, 1998; Lawrence, 1997; Jack son, 1993). Diversity is...