Diversity climate is defined as “organizational members’ attitudes and perceptions toward people from cultural groups other than their own. The attitudes and way different cultures perceived is shown in the behavior of individuals in the workplace” (Kinicki 2009). These perceptions foster stereotypes that usually cause confusion and misunderstanding among staff. Ethnocentrism plays a major role in feeding the atmosphere and promotion of the spread of misunderstanding and confusion. “Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own native country, culture, language, and modes of behavior are superior to others” (Kinicki 2009). The problems caused by ethnocentrism is demonstrated in management as well as staff; and usually results in a climate of cultural intolerance .Therefore diversity, in its broadest sense, is “all the characteristics that make one person different from another” (Cordova 1995). To fully implement diversity awareness and training techniques, an overall change of mind must take place in the workplace. This change of mindset is crucial in providing a culturally friendly working environment that promotes diversity.
The Y2K Diversity Revolution
In the beginning of the millennium, more than 85% of the country’s workforce was women and minorities. This change in the workforce was a major challenge then and still remains a challenge in 2011. Organizations see the increasing need for diversity awareness and training. Diversity is now viewed in a broader sense than just its definition. It is more than just a reflection upon the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and a definition of diversity in terms of race, national origin religious affiliation and disabling condition. To view diversity in a broader sense would include sexual orientation, personal values and characteristics, educational background, language, physical appearance, marital status, lifestyle, beliefs and family background. Diversity 3
Why A Change...
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