Workplace Diversity

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's October 2001

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WORKPLACE DIVERSITY: ITS BENEFITS AND THE CHALLENGES AHEAD INTRODUCTION Diversity is an increasingly important factor in businesses around the world as Globalization begins to take hold of the world market. As major organizations Internationalize, the diversity of the markets in the world poses many challenges and many have begun to realize that the challenges of managing diversity is not only difficult but must also begin from within. To understand and manage the diverseness of the world markets, knowledge of its complexities is required and a diverse workforce has become an important if not necessary tool to merely survive in these markets. The challenge to remain competitive in the current global markets has forced many organizations to change their views on managing the diversity of their workforce. Not only is the diversification of the workforce unavoidable but it has also become essential to tap into the competitive market of talent in the world today for any organization to remain competitive.

The definition of diversity among people can be generally defined as the differences between people, physical and psychological. This includes all demographic and cultural differences like age, gender, race, culture, religion, ethnicity, disabilities, personal beliefs, family structure and lifestyle ( Hellriegel 1999 ). This is however not in any way comprehensive, as diversity among people is practically limitless and is constantly evolving with time and the global environment. Outstanding differences are obvious like race and age but some can be difficult to identify especially perceived differences, which vary based on experiences and relationships like lifestyle and personality.

Valuing diversity is an important element in organisations today and managing diversity is vital for success. Management of diversity can be defined as a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees ( Thomas 1991 ) while encouraging and...

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