Changing times, company reputation and customer demands have led to business practices in companies that profit and benefit from being seen as diverse. Workforce diversity was first presented as an issue of equality by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC was established in 1963 and is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Defining diversity is a controversial topic because there are many ways a group’s diversity can be measured. Diversity of appearance, such as demographics, age, sex, and race are the typical way that diversity is measured. But this touches only one aspect of diversity and does not cover the whole spectrum, such as differences in thinking that can be traced to educational or socioeconomic backgrounds. The study, “Why Differences Make a Difference: A Field Study of Diversity, Conflict and Performance in Workgroups” by Jehn, Northcraft and Neale, suggests three definitions of diversity: Social category diversity: Social category diversity (diversity is usually defined this way) refers to visible physical differences among individuals, such as race, gender, and ethnicity. These are the differences that are first seen between group members and are the first and foremost way that group members categorize each other. Group members will tend to identify more with other members that are more socially similar to them. Value diversity: Value diversity occurs when members of a workgroup differ in terms of what they think the group's task, goal, target, or mission should be. In...
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