WORK IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
1.1 The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical abilities, etc. 1.2 There is a need to be sensitive to the needs of others in all aspects of life including office life. I, myself, am formally registered disabled by being hard of hearing aid. My line managers have always been aware of this and adapted my work accordingly. Before I was issued with this new hearing aid, I was never expected to take minutes at meetings nor work on reception. However, as I am now fitted with a better hearing aid, I feel able to do both these areas of work as well as any other colleague. I am also in my mid fifties yet I have never encountered age discrimination. Nowadays, I would expect this sensitivity towards me in the workplace and would feel entitled to complain if I was treated insensitively in regard to my age and deafness. Equally, I would show similar respect and understanding to another person’s disabilities, age, gender, race, etc, etc. It is not even that it should be perceived with understanding but should be welcomed as life (anywhere – at work or elsewhere) would be dull if we were all identical robots. 1.3 See 1.2
1.4 Not only would it be dull in the workplace if we were all identical, it would not offer the best of service either. My colleagues have learned from me that when talking to someone who is deaf, I need to be able to see their mouth in order to hear what they are saying as, subconsciously, I lip-read. By working with me they have a greater understanding of how to address and communicate with someone with a hearing problem. I, similarly, learn from them in this regard too. I have no personal knowledge of what it is like to be discriminated against because of my race or colour but, because I work with people of...
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