1 The idea of diversity applies to all areas of our life. Such miniscule things as food and music are all associated with diversity. As such, diversity is also an essential component of the workplace. I believe that multiple facets of diversity are necessary in the workplace. This includes race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation among others. ” Workforce diversity means similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. No two humans are alike. People are different in not only gender, culture, race, social and psychological characteristics but also in their perspectives and prejudices” (Saxena, 2014). Let’s use for example a university setting in a sociology department. The discipline of sociology examines issues relating to society. In this case, diversity would be imperative, as having faculty members of a diverse background would allow issues to be presented and discussed from various perspectives. An African American faculty member may have more personal insight on issues relative to members of the African American culture. In the same sense, someone with a diverse religious background may be able to address issues which are relative to religious issues. Furthermore, I would argue that the workplace is often the forefront of diversity; a place in which employees can interact and engage with those from different cultural beliefs. This is since individuals tend to associate with those who have similar social behaviors, beliefs and practices. The workplace can truly be described as a melting pot. It is my assertion that diversity in the workplace is beneficial for society as a whole.
While diversity is an important aspect, it is also important to remember that there are potential issues associated with it as well. For instance, there are certain religious and cultural and religious beliefs which prohibit members from working on Saturday’s. As such, many employers honor these practices, however, there are instances in which an employer may not be able to honor these beliefs due to business demand. Such instance raises legal questions on religious freedoms and rights. In this example, it is plausible that diversity could also cause tensions between employees- why does he or she have every weekend off, when the rest of us have to work? Such instances can result in conflict among organizational members, which could prove to be detrimental for all involved.
Saxena, A. (2014). Workforce Diversity: A Key to Improve Productivity. Procedia Economics and Finance. 11. 76-85
2) What makes diversity so important? On the one hand, much of the focus in the field of diversity in organizations has been on reducing or eliminating undesirable, unfair, and illegal bias and discrimination and on increasing equity and social justice. On the other hand, many theorists, researchers, and practitioners have emphasized the benefits that individuals, groups, organizations, and societies can derive from diversity. This understanding forms the foundation for many organizational diversity initiatives (Ferdman, 2014).
Organizations that have a very diverse workforce tend to be set up for success. The company that I work for is known for being one of the most diverse companies in the United States (T-Mobile). There are many advantages to having a much-diversified workforce as we each complement one another in many different ways, for example, we have three people on our team who are of Hispanic origin, which makes it easy for them to communicate with our customers that only speak Spanish. Another example, as I personally am of Arab origin I speak the Arabic language, to where we also have many customers that come in the store who don’t speak very well English and Arabic is actually there the first language which I am able to assist.
While there are many advantages to having a diverse workforce, so comes many disadvantages as well. Political diversity in the United States currently is not only dividing this country but also causes many complications in the workplace. For example, the previous person who held my position at work was a very hardcore Trump supporter who would always clash with other coworkers on a daily basis. His support for Trump made him feel the need to be more superior to other employees and be able to talk down to them and throw unnecessary comments at them without any repercussions, on the other hand, he did bring an advantage to the workplace as many customers that came into the store would only want to talk or deal with him do to the color of his skin and they both shared the same political views. Ever since that employee left the company there has been a decline in customer traffic that shares his political views in life.
Ferdman, Bernardo M (2014). Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion. 1. 5-12
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