Workplace Diversity

Topics: Employment, Organization, Gender Pages: 7 (2067 words) Published: June 2, 2009
Every individual differs in many ways. Some example of differences exist between individuals are age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and capabilities. Nowadays, workplace diversity has started to receive wide attention and become an important issue in the business world as diversity in the workplace has increased. As differences are often been associated with discrimination, bias, unfair treatment and conflicts, managing diversity in workforce is an important task for managers today. Managing diversity in the workplace refers to the ways of managers used in ensuring employees in the organizations who come from different group do not suffer discrimination (UC Regents, 2007). Management can mobilize the differences and similarities in each and every one of the employees for the benefits of both the individuals and organizations (European Union, n.d.). By ensuring fairness and equality in a diverse workplace is more than just doing a good deed, it is imperative in today’s fast moving and sophisticated business world.

Where diversity occurs?
Generally, diversity can be seen everywhere. Diversity can be seen in a country, schools, colleges, politics, and multinational corporations or even in the shopping malls and on the streets. In a country, citizens are comprises of people with different genders, age and ethnicity. For example, United States of America is comprises of many ethnic groups such as Hispanic, Asians, African-Americans and other races (Kinicki and Williams, 2006). In schools and colleges, there are students from different countries holding different beliefs and cultures and speak different mother languages. In politics, there are leaders preaching different philosophies and delivering their messages in different mediums and channels. For example, Barack Obama is a democrat while John McCain is a republican (Gibbs, 2008). In multinational corporations, there are both male and female employees in different age range. As the educational level increased and people have become more open-minded, more and more people are now willing to accept, adapt and tolerate the differences in each individual.

Emergence of workplace diversity
The changing workforce demographic in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and educational level is one of the factors that caused the emergence of diversity in workplace. Today’s women are exposed and provided with more opportunities in pursuing education when compared to the past. Women now made up more than half of all college students and about half of all medical and law students (Luthans, 2008). This has increased the chances of women being employed in the workplace. Due to the increased in women’s educational level, women nowadays are able to get better job with higher pay and compete with men in the workplace. Many women have been able to break the so called “glass ceiling” and become the CEO or top management in large corporations. Angela Braly and and Patricia Woertz are the best example of successful President and CEO of Fortune 500 companies (Cable News Network, 2008)

In the near decades, many new laws and regulations were set by government in different countries to protect the rights of individuals in employment opportunities. Examples of the new laws are Age Discrimination Act of 1978, Civil Rights Act of 1991 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Luthans, 2008). These laws and regulations prohibit age and gender, physical disabilities discriminations as well as racism in employment. Many corporations started to take note of this issue and be less bias and more objective when selecting employees from candidates who apply for a particular job. As a result, more women, minorities and individuals who have physical disabilities have are benefited as more employment opportunities are provided to them.

Also, many organizations have realized the importance of diversity in workforce as it can help organizations to create...
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