The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

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The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace
Research Paper

AMBA 600 Section 9046
6 FEB 2011

Executive Summary
This report presents the results of a comprehensive review of the positive impacts that diversity training can have on an organization as a whole as well as the individual employee. As the United States minority populations percentages increase the number of ethnic minorities will mirror the increase in minorities in the workforce. Due to this ethic shift in the US population, diversity training will remain as a pressing topic. Senior level executives must embrace this change and continue to create a positive environment that is conducive to all employees regardless of their fundamental cultural differences. Moreover, businesses must learn to embrace and manage diversity if they want to continue to be successful. More often now in today’s ever-growing corporations then in the past, employees from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds are forced to work together to achieve their company’s goals. When diversity training is masterfully executed, it will help to create a positive diverse workforce that can open up opportunities for growth in a business and create a more constructive environment. If diversity training is successfully executed it has the potential to enhance employees' fundamental understanding of cultural sensitivity and other pertinent differences. Diversity training and building relationships are key elements to advancing organization. Managing employees from diverse backgrounds can create a unique challenge if employees lack mutual respect based solely on unfounded generalizations of gender, religion, disabilities and ethnic background. The success or failure of a corporation can rely heavily on the ability to successful blend a diverse organization. Diversity programs address the need for organizations to be more vigilant of their employees needs; however, with change comes resistance. Some employees may feel excluded when the new change takes effect or misunderstand the purpose of the program. Diversity training can reduce legal issues and cost associated with them. In short, each corporation’s diversity program must be implemented and its fundamental goals must be clearly defined and embraced starting at the chief executive level. Its importance must be emphasized down through mid-management levels until the lowest subordinate in the corporation receives the training.

In March 2010, Wal-Mart was ordered to pay $11.7 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. From January 1, 1998, through February 15, 2005, Wal-Mart consistently refused to hire women in entry-level warehouse positions. The investigation findings report, that less qualified 18 to 25-year old males were hired to fill these positions. In addition, Wal-Mart made news headlines for racially insensitive remarks made over an intercom in a store located in a predominately African American metropolis. In December 2010, United Airlines was ordered to pay $600,000 for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by prohibiting reservation agents with disabilities from working shorter schedules. Retail store, Big Lots was ordered to pay $400,000 to five African-Americans, for failure to correct a hostile working environment. UPS Freight was ordered to pay over $46,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit. These are just a few examples of the many lawsuits that were filed in 2010 against major, well established corporations. Each one of these cases potentially could have been prevented if each corporation instilled a viable diversity training program. What is diversity training and why is it important? Diversity training provides the understanding, skills, and tools to assist corporations with preventing deep-rooted faulty generalizations against certain ethnic, gender, and disabilities groups within a corporation. Diversity training is important because...
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