For a manager in a business setting, it is vital to be aware of the differences that exist among different cultures, ethnicities and genders. A manager cannot be a good leader and provide a positive role model to their staff without diversity awareness.
Gaining an understanding about cultural diversity, and the differences between different cultures, is notoriously difficult. This is because culture is not a conscious idea. All people learn, from the moment they are born, to act and to think in a way that is in keeping with their family culture. A manager of a business is an example of an individual that is often in contact with people of diverse cultures, ethnicities and genders.
Employees from varying cultures comprehend and measure situations and ideas in altered ways. What may be deemed as appropriate behavior in one culture may be viewed as the opposite in another (Quappe & Giovanna, 2011). If a manager is short of cultural awareness, he or she can be prone to basing situations on their own culture, as opposed to taking the time to learn about the people with whom they are working. For example, according to Quappe and Cantore (2011), “a straight look into your face is regarded as disrespectful in Japan.”
A manager needs the trust of their team if they are to do their job effectively. Within most workplaces, there is a mixture of men and women employed. Whether male or female, a manager must be aware of difference between the genders and must be sensitive to them. Just as a manager should be mindful of cultural and ethnic diversity, they should also be aware of differences related to gender.
There is significant immigration into the US, and therefore the demographic is changing continuously. Many people who choose to relocate to the US bring culture and languages from their home countries. This raises a further reason for managers to be aware of cultural and ethnic diversity, in order to avoid antagonism and confusions in the workplace (Manda, 2010).
According to Kelly (2003), when asked about the importance of cultural diversity training with regards to the police force in specific, Police Chief Paul Norris says: “Our objective is to have people more sensitive than they would otherwise be.” He then went on to say, “It is not to have everybody agree, but just be more sensitive to the way the other person thinks” (Kelly, 2003).
Throughout the US, business managers are recruiting people from ethnic, cultural and other types of minorities, so as to make sure that their teams are diverse. In a diverse country such as the US, it is important for all citizens to be aware of diversity related issues. This is even more vital for managers who are working closely with teams of people, often in stressful situations, and trying to get the best out of them and the business. Naturally, it would be almost impossible for a manager to learn about every culture, ethnicity and gender difference that exists. However, at the very least, harboring an awareness about such differences, and being mindful of it, is a step in the right direction.
Kelly, M. (2003). Diversity: ‘It’s time to face facts.’ Inside UVA Online. Retrieved from
Manda, G. (2010). Law Enforcement & Cultural Diversity Training. EHow. Retrieved from
Quappe,S. and Cantatore, G. (2011). What is Cultural Awareness, anyway? How do I build
it? Culturosity. Retrieved from
Tymson, C. (2011). Business Communication: Bridging the Gender Gap. Retrieved from