The Benefits of Diversity
Affirmative action has been the center of many heated debates for decades now. Affirmative action policies are used in the United States to give advantages to racial minorities in areas of education, employment, health care, or government funding. These "minorities" are underrepresented groups in society, especially when defined by race, ethnicity, or gender. Until the mid-1960's, legal barriers prevented blacks and other racial minorities in the United States from entering many jobs and educational institutions. Although women were rarely legally barred from jobs or education, many universities would not admit them and many employers would not hire them. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and employment, was the first modern legislation to address these barriers. A section of the act known as Title VII, which specifically banned discrimination in employment, laid the groundwork for the following development of affirmative action (Diversity Guidlines). As the view of management, I am in favor of affirmative action because I believe diversity comes with many benefits in the workplace. Diversity in the workplace can reduce lawsuits, increase marketing opportunities, recruitment, creativity, and business image (Esty). In an era when flexibility and creativity are keys to competitiveness, diversity is critical for an organization's success. The business benefits of a diverse workforce are well known. Organizations that employ people from a wide variety of backgrounds are known to be productive and happier (Kiely). Quantitative measures of productivity include output quality, output quantity, and the time needed to complete a task. Greater output increases cost per unit, which in turn increases profits. Happier workers will raise the companies overall moral. Happy workers will drive down the turnover rate, and cost can be cut on training and development cost of new employees, as well as recruiting cost due to unnecessary turnover. Diverse workforces are more innovative (Kiely). Greater innovations produce new products ideas, new operational ideas, and new marketing ideas. Innovation helps your company grow and expand as business evolves with new tools and technology to give a competitive advantage. Innovation comes from unique and critical thinking. Diversity helps takes the ideas of different age groups, genders, and ethnicities and brings them together to complete an idea or project. Diversity is also designed to help you increase effectiveness in recruiting and supervising staff, and to maximize the benefits for people working in a diverse environment (Cartwright). It will help your organization prevent discrimination by learning while creating the most effective workplace possible. Diversity in the workplace is designed to assist managers, supervisors and recruiters by increasing their awareness about the benefits of diversity and providing practical solutions and information that can be applied in the workplace. To measure how diversity is affecting a companies hiring and retention programs, a firm can compare the turnover rate of women and minorities to men. They can then compare this turnover rate to previous existing year's trend line. A firm can also take note on the percentage of mothers who return from maternity leave. Not only will effective recruiting reduce training and recruiting cost, but it will also reduce expenses and lost revenue due to inexperience of new employees on the job. Buying power, particularly in today's global economy, is represented by people from all walks of life. These include different ethnicities, races, ages, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, etc. To ensure that their products and services are designed to appeal to these diverse customer bases, companies must hire people to whom they are marketing too. These employees can bring specialized insights...
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