Diversity in Workplace Paper

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Discrimination Pages: 6 (2065 words) Published: March 14, 2012
Diversity Paper


Managing diversity in the workplace is an important faucet for running a successful business. This essay explains the different complexities on gender, age, religion, occupation, and is a guide for understanding the differences in people. Diversity Paper

As a manager in today’s workplace, managing diversity is as important as meeting deadlines and completing initiatives. “Diversity refers to difference in people, including their age gender, race, religion, cultural background, education, mental and physical disabilities, sexual orientation and other dimensions,” (Hitt, Black, & Porter, 2012, p. 187). In many cases, effectively managing diversity will directly attribute to a business’ success or failure. To manage diversity effectively, managers must get acquainted with today’s changing workforce demographic. In this paper, diversity will be explored with highlights on gender, age, religion, and occupation. Gender

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, gender is defined as, “Sex or the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex.” Early on in childhood, gender could perhaps be the first adolescent distinction between one group or another (boys or girls). Then as people mature and enter the workforce, gender starts to play itself out in other types of scenarios. Gender Focus, gender diversity, the “glass ceiling” are a few different ways that gender affects individual behavior in the workplace.

“Gender focus represents the extent to which people in a country value masculine or feminine traits...Masculine traits value activities that lead to success, money and possessions. Feminine traits value activities that show caring for others and enhance the quality of life,” (Hitt, Black, & Porter, 2012, p. 64). Within the US, generally there is a masculine work ethic with a high propensity to work more hours and exercise less time off with vacation. The goals of prosperity through hard work is part of the American Dream; another part being equality. Gender focus is varies, depending on the culture, so when doing international business, the culture’s gender focus must be taken into account to be successful and to not offend. As the gender diversity in the United States grows, this issue is more prevalent in today’s globalized economy. For example, an American female manager (with a masculine traits) sent to work in her company’s international office in Japan maybe met with some resistance or confusion from her employees because Japan is historically a male dominated society where women hold less than one percent of management positions (Hitt et al., 2012, p. 188).

Gender Diversity in the workforce has changed drastically since the women’s movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The once traditional norm of the men going off to work with women staying at home to bear children, were gender roles once widely embraced. In 1977, 74% of males believed in the gender roles; however, that number decreased to 42% by 2008 (Hitt et al., 2012, p. 190). Women in the United States make up almost half of the labor force at 46% (with a high of 39% in management/professional occupations in 2008) (Hitt et al., 2012, p. 188). With high percentages of women in the labor force, and as traditional gender roles decline, it appears as if the oppression of working women could be a thing of the past. Federal laws and regulations, such as the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1871, and 1991, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, Executive Order 11246 (affirmative action), and Equal Pay Act of 1963 serve to protect women in the workplace. (Hitt et al., 2012).

So with the Federal laws and increased percentage of women in the workplace and management (masculine gender role previously typical of men), are women finally equal to men in the workplace? According to the phenomenon of the “glass ceiling,” that answer would be, “No.” The “glass ceiling” is an invisible roadblock on the path to...
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