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Workplace Diversity Management



‘Diversity’ is defined as the variation in cultural and social identity among different groups of people living in a market setting or any other defined environment. On the other hand, ‘diversity management’ is the acknowledgment, acceptance and understanding of differences in people without regard to race, age, disability, gender etc. Over the past few years, diversity has proved to play a major role in the organizational life owing to increased workforce diversity, growth in globalization, and changes in job complexity.

Kamal, Y. (2009). Managing Diversity at Workplace: A Case Study of Hp. ASA University Review, Vol. 3 No. 2, July–December, 2009

Fundamental Steps in Workplace Diversity Management

Managers across the world must be made to appreciate the challenge of discrimination at the workplaces and its possible consequences. It is important that organizational executives, right from the very top, acknowledge their individual prejudices and biases that threaten co-existence of employees from different backgrounds. This should be guided by the knowledge that individuals remain unique and their respective character does not necessarily represent the conduct of any particular group.

British Association for Supported Employment (2013). Submission to the Government Review of Disability Employment Strategy. BASE Unit 4, 200 Bury Road, Tottington, Lancashire, England

Cultural Diversity

Arguably, when customers and employees feel supported and welcomed at a great workplace, cultural backgrounds notwithstanding, transformational outcomes are almost guaranteed. However, to create a culture of positivity calls for more work to be done in challenging any prevailing negative feelings, thoughts, and attitudes that guide the day-to-day activities at all levels of the organization. This is because such decisions have got the ability to either hinder or promote fair and inclusive recruitment and promotion procedures.

British Association for Supported Employment (2013). Submission to the Government Review of Disability Employment Strategy. BASE Unit 4, 200 Bury Road, Tottington, Lancashire, England

Gender Inclusivity

The proportion of women in the world’s current workforce has consistently been on an upward trend in the recent past. This has been precipitated by the implementation of legislative changes deliberately advocating for equal pay for work, gender notwithstanding. Further, a number of scholars observe that this has been compounded by an increase in the number of women seeking to further education and also the recent changes in working conditions providing for maternity leave and flexible work options.

Ingold, J. & Stuart, M. (2010). Employer Engagement in the Work Programme. University of Leeds

Challenge of Disability

The quest to establish a work environment that is responsive and supportive to the people living with disabilities has proved to be an uphill challenge to most organizations. It is estimated that about 20% of the current world population has got some form of disability with the percentage expected to increase in the near future as a consequence of the ageing members of the society. Subsequently, organizations have taken note of this and are aggressively working towards increasing diversity competence to accommodate all members of the society.

Kossek,E., Sharon A., & Brown, J. (2013). Human Resource Strategies to Manage Workforce Diversity. Australian Human Rights Commission

The Issue of Marginalization

In the current world, there is increased agitation for equal representation of different groups of people in the society. This is not only limited to the lower cohorts of the organizational structure but the senior most management levels as well. This has already gone a long way in eliminating the prevailing notion that the minority groups have very limited chances for growth in the corporate ladder. As expected, this has been a major cause of employee-management attrition in our organizations.

Waterhouse, P., Kimberley, H., Jonas, P. & Nurka, C. (2013). What would it take? Employer perspectives on employing people with a disability— Literature review. Group Training Association of Victoria

Management of Internships

It has been noted that limited vacancies available for qualified students who take up positions with most of the global organizations has been a major blow in the plans to recruit from diverse backgrounds and importantly accommodate the minority groups through the affirmative actions. In addition, the same organizations are also finding it quite an uphill task to not only develop but also to plan effective strategies that support smooth transition from interns to competitive full-time workforce.

Davidson, J. (2011). A qualitative study exploring employers’ recruitment behaviour and decisions: Small and Medium Enterprises. Department for Work and Pensions, London

Hiring Freeze and Budget Cuts

Oftentimes, organizational budgetary cuts and financial limitations have been known to deal a major blow to the quest for effective diversity management across the world. Several studies point to financial limitations as one of the major reasons preventing organizations from recruiting people with special needs. Indeed, it is these funding uncertainties that have forced most companies to develop clay feet when it comes to hiring people living with disabilities.

Dermol, V. & Rakowsk, A. (2014). Strategic Approaches to Human Resources Management Practice. ToKnowPress Bangkok · Celje · Lublin

Communication Channels

Administrative executives must learn to deliberately open up reliable communication lines that coordinate activities between the various departments making up various organizations. Besides, the communication channels have to respect and uphold the diversity of ideas, thoughts, and opinions of all employees without any possible consequences of reprisals. Reluctance of co-workers to engage openly in diversity conversations have often made it difficult to address the critical concept of inclusivity at workplaces.

Green, K. (2010). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Sustaining Workplace Diversity

Overall, there is need to develop adequate training and leadership opportunities to enhance employee understanding of the entire concept of inclusion and diversity. Such an initiative will not only ensure that all the employees are diversity confident but also serve to equip them with the necessary skills required to effectively deliver services to the society at large. To cap it all, any forms of indirect or systematic discrimination should be identified and addressed on time to meet societal expectations on equity, fairness and diversity.

British Association for Supported Employment (2013). Submission to the Government Review of Disability Employment Strategy. BASE Unit 4, 200 Bury Road, Tottington, Lancashire, England