Work Force Diversity in Indian Organization
We’ve looked at the challenges that Indian companies face because of diversity, both at the workplace and the marketplace. We’ve also seen the ways companies can use, to not only manage existing diversity but also to promote it and gain a competitive advantage in the market. Probably, the most important aspect that comes out from the study is that diversity is finally all about human beings, and how they differ from each other. Any company that understands its key stakeholders well – its employees, its shareholders, its partners and most importantly, its customers, can thrive in the most diverse of environments. “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department” - Thomas Sowell
Diversity in the context of an Indian Business Organization
The objective of this article is twofold. Firstly it tries to identify the various elements of diversity, as it exists in a modern Indian Business corporation. Secondly it looks at the methods that the companies can employ, not only to understand and cope with the diversity but also to leverage it towards building wholesome business relationships. Diversity in many ways is closely connected to another term that we see commonly used today, which is ‘Change’. Managing diversity is an essential part of change management. If Indian companies have to thrive in today’s changing global marketplace, it has to learn to manage diversity, both within the company and without.
The two Realms of Diversity at India Inc
Diversity exists in two key realms in an Indian Business Organization; the first is at the workplace and involves the employees of the company. The second is at the marketplace and involves the interaction of the company with three groups of stakeholders- the owners, the partners and the customers.
Reasons for Diversity at the Workplace
There are two reasons for increased levels of workplace diversity today: 1. India has witnessed significant demographic changes in the past twenty years; many people from traditionally agricultural communities have now joined the ranks of the middle class. Also, large numbers of women are now being employed in traditionally male dominated areas 2. Many companies in India are proactively encouraging diversity within its ranks. Some of them have adopted best practices of corporations around the world.
Reason for Diversity at the Marketplace
The reason for the increasing levels of diversity at the market place can be summed up in one word – Globalization. Though a much maligned and overworked word, no other term captures so effectively the situation in the markets today. The challenge for Indian companies that cannot manage marketplace diversity effectively is enormous. This is true not only in global marketplace, but increasingly so in the Indian marketplace itself.
Advantages of Diversity
A company gains several advantages if it can effectively manage diversity. Some of these include the ability to spot new markets, reduction of costs, improved hiring quality, and reduction in unintended biases, favourable publicity and creative advantages. In the Indian context, promoting and managing diversity, particularly at the work place would go a long way in promoting social progress and help bring down barriers created by differences in Language, Caste, Ethnicity and Religion
Diversity in the Indian Workplace
Managing workplace diversity is one of thorniest challenges for HR managers in India today. Gone are the days, when most people in the office looked the same, spoke in the same manner and had the same outlook in life. Now things are somewhat different and so are the challenges.
Kinds of Diversity at the Workplace
There are different kinds of diversity that one encounters at the workplace. These...