Chapter 12: Managing Diversity in the Workplace
The Chancellor's Committee on Diversity defines Diversity as: "The variety of experiences and perspective which arise from differences in race, culture, religion, mental or physical abilities, heritage,age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics." So why is it when many people think of diversity, they think first of ethnicity and race, and then gender? Diversity is much broader. Diversity is otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups. It's important to understand how these dimensions affect performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. Institutional structures and practices that have presented barriers to some dimensions of diversity should be examined, challenged, and removed. A good starting-point for thinking about diversity is to become familiar with UC’s systemwide Non-Discrimination Statement: “It is the policy of the University not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person employed or seeking employment with the University of California on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. This policy applies to all employment practices, including recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, merit increase, salary, training and development, demotion, and separation.” Of course, diversity also encompasses a wide variety of other differences, including work experience, parental status, educational background, geographic location, and much more. And managing diversity means more than simply observing legal and policy requirements. It also means actively promoting community and comfort with difference, as noted in UCSF’s Principles of Community: “We recognize, value, and affirm that social diversity contributes richness to the University community and enhances the quality of campus life for individuals and groups. We take pride in our various achievements and we celebrate our differences.” As this suggests, workplace diversity can provide tremendous benefits in terms of improved morale, outside-the-box thinking, greater teamwork, and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect. * Guiding Principles
* How Well Do You Manage Diversity?
* Managing Diversity
* Managing Diversity is Different from Affirmative Action * Consequences of Ignoring Diversity
* Other Resources
Workforce diversity is a reality at San Francisco. We already reflect the national demographic trends predicted for the year 2000 by the Hudson Institute in its 1987 report, Workforce 2000. Accommodation issues for our diverse workforce, such as childcare, elder care, flexible work arrangements, disability accommodation, and literacy are being addressed in the workplace. Managing diversity is defined as "planning and implementing organizational systems and practices to manage people so that the potential advantages of diversity are maximized while its potential disadvantages are minimized," according to Taylor Cox in "Cultural Diversity in Organizations." Managing diversity well provides a distinct advantage in an era when flexibility and creativity are keys to competitiveness. An organization needs to be flexible and adaptable to meet new customer needs. Heterogeneity promotes creativity and heterogeneous groups have been shown to produce better solutions to problems and a higher level of critical analysis. This can be a vital asset at a time when the campus is undergoing tremendous change and self-examination to find new and more effective ways to operate. With effective management of diversity, the campus develops a reputation as an...
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