Workplace Diversity

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English 135

Workplace Diversity
As our economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Today, corporate structures are involved in globalizing. Markets and market shares are more dynamic, and the workplace is increasingly more integrated. Companies are now investing in diversity management as they are now managing a global workforce. However, with the education and training on diversity for both the employer and the employees, many workers believe that workplace bias against women, blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanics and homosexuals still exists. This paper seeks to prove that workplace discrimination against by gender; race, color and nation origin; Hispanics; and homosexuals indeed exist today.

Effectively managing diversity is crucial to any heterogeneous workplace. Companies need to understand the background of many forms of conflict in order to manage diversity effectively in the workplace. Women, blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanics and homosexuals are the groups that are mostly affected by issues of diversity in the workplace. Each of these groups was selected for the following reasons: Women represent 50.9% of the population. Blacks and Asians represent the two highest race percentages in the U.S. (see figure 1). Hispanics can include individuals of any race and are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. Homosexuals are still the most openly discriminated against in the workforce. [pic]

Fig.1. Population by Race (Census 2000)

Workplace Discrimination against by Gender
Women accounted for 46% of the workforce in 1996. This percentage is expected to rise to 48% by the year 2010. However, women continue to encounter glass ceiling. The opportunities for advancement in the corporate world for women are very limited and many times they are treated as inferior to their male counterparts. Women, on the average, earn less than their male counterparts. “The average American woman earns about 74 cents for every dollar that their male counterpart earns. Additionally, women compose about only 11% of corporate officers in the Fortune 500 companies in America” (Begley 20). Although their salaries increase when women are promoted to management positions, on the average, they are still lower than the salaries of men. For the majority of women, once they are promoted to management positions, this is the end of advancement. Very few women actually make it to top management positions. In 2002, “the National Organization for Women reports that white men still hold at least 95 percent of high-level corporate job” (Bernard 16).

Workplace Discrimination against by Race, Color and Nation Origin
Approximately, 25% of the population and about 15.5% of the workforce account for people of color. The term “people of color” includes all individuals who are not classified as white. Hispanics, on the other hand, are not included in race statistics because they can be of any race. The population of “people or color” and Hispanics have more than tripled the growth rates of whites over the past decade.

People of color in the United States have been struggling to gain equality to whites for decades, not only in the workforce, but also in society. Unfortunately, this goal is difficult to accomplish because of the concept of racism. Racism is the “belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others (www.answers.com).” As a result, because of this belief and because of the stereotypes that exist about many races, it is not easy for people of color to advance in the corporate world. The effects of racism and stereotypes are common concerns for many people of color. According to the Census 2000, the black population accounts for about 12.3% of the total population and about 10% of the total workforce. Blacks are the largest minority group by race even though this percentage appears to be extremely low....
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