The world has turned into one big global village where people from all parts of the world interact freely in different forums to exchange ideas, views, goods, and services. Globalization has also led to emergence of global corporations that operate and hire workforce from different parts of the globe. Thus, workplace has become a diverse environment where managers, especially human resource managers, need to use multidisciplinary approaches that will suite different cultures in their workforce.
According to Lyon, Dunn, and Sinn (2011), it is important to develop a strong and a diverse workforce to increase the performance of any organization (p.231). In my view, I think understanding and managing a diverse workforce is paramount to the success of any organization. When the manager understands the diversity of his or her workforce, he/she will know how to use the diverse workforce to maximize the benefits of the organization rather than to let it divide the workers.
Diversity in workplace is inevitable given that people have different values, attitudes, and cultures simply because they come from different religions, races, national origins, genders, and economic statuses. For an organization to optimize on these types of diversity, I think it is important to come up with policy guideline that will help to create a good environment in the workplace, which prevents any form of discrimination.
Historical and legal context of work place diversity
Diversity in the work place has evolved for years as the composition of employees in different organization changes. For instance, in American about two-thirds of new employees were women and approximately twenty nine percent were non-whites in the year 2000.
This scenario shows a drastic shift from the previous year’s trend where majority of new employees in the American workforce were men and whites. Understanding how this trend has changed over the years will enable managers to know the appropriate strategy employable in dealing with the changing composition of workforce. Traditionally, women and non-white workers were discriminated in workplace and at times mistreated just because of being different.
In my view, I think understanding historical trend in workplace will help managers to adjust accordingly. The department of labor also provides legal requirements that should be followed in all organizations to prevent discrimination of any form especially to the minority groups’ employees. I think it is important therefore for the human resources managers to know what the law demands concerning treatment of diverse workforce.
Stereotypes – these are myths, falsehood, or misconceptions about someone or something. In the workplace, stereotypes show up when a person is mistreated because of a given damaging misconception/stereotypes; for instance, non-whites cannot make good managers.
Prejudices – These assumptions or prejudgments are made about someone or something before getting accurate information about the person or thing. For instance, women are denied some positions in the work place based on the assumption that they are not competent enough.
Discrimination – it is the ability to view a clear distinction between people, objects or anything else. In the workplace, people are discriminated in terms of wages, promotion, hiring, termination, and job assignment due to their diversity.
Privilege – this occurs when one person is treated better than another is just because s/he is different. In the workplace, some people are treated better than others are because they come from a given race, gender, region, color, nationality among other differences.
Lyon, B., Dunn, K., & Sinn, S. (2011).Leveraging Partnerships to Develop a Strong and Diverse Workforce. Journal of Library Administration, 51(2), 231-241.