Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion Paper SOC/315 December 15, 2010 Professor Dr. Lorthridge Introduction This paper will discuss and focus on the four dimensions of diversity: ethnicity, gender, differences in skills, abilities and personality traits and how they have an impact in my workplace.
To be able to go further in this paper one should understand the definition of diversity. Diversity is a variety between people associated to factors such as culture, employment status, education, family orientation, gender, origin, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation and thinking style (Harvey, C. P. 2009). Although the differences themselves are unquestionable, organizations and society often reject them by acknowledging only a few of them. Although some differences might have been overlooked in the past, understanding roles they play in an organizations success has successfully put diversity on the spotlight. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others and these perceptions affect their interactions.
In this society when one person thinks of diversity he or she might think of race, but it also includes ethnic and cultural aspects that might be in the workplace.Society has come a long way and many changes have taken place, therefore many businesses need to learn how to adapt whether it is through training seminars or from firsthand experience. Differences between diversity and inclusion To understand the difference between diversity and inclusion one must first define and understand the definition of diversity. There truly is no universal agreement of workplace diversity, it is defined as, “The ways in which people differ that may affect their organizational experience in terms of , communication, performance, motivation, and inclusion” (Harvey & Allard, 2009).When it comes down to it, diversity is about a business balancing the skills of his or her employees to help enable an organization to compete with other businesses. At a business level an owner needs to communicate to his or her coworkers of what is expected of him or her. Therefore, if we are not able to do this, we will have problems of productivity and not able to compete with other businesses.
“When a business is able to communicate properly on a level each employee can understand, the performance, and motivation levels exceed the businesses expectations” (Harvey & Allard).Therefore when there is inclusion in a business, then the risk of that business failing drops. Diversity is having a variety, and inclusion is including everything needed. You may not need everything that is a variety. It is the difference in what is needed, and what is honored. Dimensions of diversity Dimensions of diversity include income, age, organizational role, geographic location, ethnic heritage, education, gender, work style, religion, mental/physical abilities and characteristics, family status, race, language and sexual orientation.These six differences are termed core dimensions of diversity because they exert an important impact on our early socialization and a powerful, sustained impact on our experiences, values, assumptions and expectations throughout every stage of life.
Diversity Training Training is an important element of a start of diversity and is the opportunity for a company to educate staff about the important factors and needs of diversity. One of the important factors of training diversity in the workforce is to increase awareness and the importance of diversity but also to develop concrete skills enhancing communication and productivity among all staff.Another important factor is that diversity training alone will not resolve other diversity related issues that might occur in the organization, but training will be an important role in the success or failure of the overall diversity initiative. I feel that not recognizing different groups in the workplace will, and has for some companies caused lack of communication, the unwillingness to work as a team, and a reduction in the experience and knowledge passed down for the next generations.Organizations must stop visualizing diversity as an issue and start seeing it as a benefit for the organization. There are several reasons why a diverse workforce will add value to a company. Most businesses, either large or small, work on a global scale; the information age has brought the entire world a lot closer.
Having associates that can deal with different cultures around the world is crucial to an expanding business. A diverse workforce will help to build more rounded individuals with experience they will gain from a mixed environment.Customers will benefit from the diverse workforce because a company that makes a choice to be open and flexible with its associates will more than likely be easy to work with in a business relationship. Probably the most important aspect of having a diverse workforce is the vast knowledge gained by pooling the different life lessons, cultures and experience together thereby allowing everyone the chance to learn new and different business practices (Sappal, Pepi, 2002).In reality, as you can see from the positive argument produced above, diversity assist organizations a key advantage in the corporate world. Culture can help an organization to succeed, when diversity is taken into action, non-biased and properly managed can be greatly effective. There is no doubt after researching the arguments for cultural diversity that organizations should invest in a highly motivated and skilled diversified workforce, which will give them a powerful competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, those who have not recognized these unique situations are scrambling for talent, stuck maybe, with a workforce of soon to be retired employees with little experience ready to back them up. However companies that have recognized this are educating their workforce, offering programs that help develop talent that can work together, sharing knowledge learned from experience and past mistakes, to helping all share the new technology that our younger workforce brings with them. ConclusionIn conclusion, this paper has discussed and focused the four dimensions of cultural diversity. Personality Traits, Gender, Ethnicity and the differences in skills and abilities are all part of diversity. The impact each one of these four dimensions have on the organization can aid in the continual success of the school.References Department of Veterans Affairs (2009). Army Equal Opportunity Action Plan.
Retrieved from: http://www. diversity. hr. va. gov/ileaddiversity Harvey, C. P. (2009).
Understanding and Manging Diversity: Readings, Cases, and Exercises. Retrieved from;
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