Diversity in the workforce is one of the most important issues facing the business world today. Because firms often conduct business in the global marketplace, employing a diverse workforce with a variety of different people from different cultures can be very beneficial to a business. It can help businesses avoid cultural clashes and misunderstandings that can sometimes stem from interactions between two individuals who are from vastly different cultures and who have little understanding of the other individual’s culture, cultural practices, or even their cultural norms.
There are many different things that must be done by a business to ensure that diversity is achieved within the workplace. The first and most important aspect of creating a diverse workforce is for the upper-level management and other high-level individuals within the organization to support diversity within the workforce. Companies whose upper-level management is not forward-thinking in this way may have difficulties maintaining forward momentum for the organization.
Another important aspect when considering diversity in the workforce is the culture of the workspace. A workspace that does not encourage the freedom to express ideas or to express individuality can be stifling, and individuals who are part of the majority group in the workforce may inadvertently make minority individuals feel isolated or unwelcome. This may mean that employees and employers alike must be coached on how to properly address communications to individuals within the company, to ensure that they are not made to feel isolated, alienated, or discriminated against.
Certain types of workers are often devalued in an organization, and it is important that the sacrifices and hard work of all the members of the organization be recognized and brought to the attention of the group as a whole. This will ensure that employees feel that their actions and their work is being recognized and the diversity of the organization will continue to grow rather than shrink.
Bell, M.P. (2012). Diversity in organizations (2nd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.
Kerby, S. and Burns, C. (2012). The Top 10 Economic Facts of Diversity in the Workplace. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/07/12/11900/the-top-10-economic-facts-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/ [Accessed: 11 Jun 2013].