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Diversity in the workplace


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Diversity in the workplace

  1. 1. Alexandra Tharp Professor Morrissey Psych 473: Industrial Organizational Psychology Summer Session 1
  2. 2. What is Diversity? <ul><li>Diversity is defined as all characteristics and experiences that define each of us as individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>A common misconception about diversity is that it only pertains to certain persons or groups, when in fact, exactly the opposite is true. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity can include Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Religion, Disability, and Sexual orientation </li></ul><ul><li>A diverse workplace aims to create an inclusive culture that values and uses the talents of all its employees </li></ul>
  3. 3. History of Diversity in the Workplace <ul><li>The 1964 Civil Rights Act made it illegal for organizations to engage in employment practices that discriminated against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1965, Executive Order 11246 was passed requiring all government contractors to take affirmative actions to overcome past patterns of exclusion and discrimination . </li></ul>
  4. 4. History of Diversity in the Workplace <ul><li>These mandates eliminated formal policies that discriminated against certain classes of workers and raised costs to organizations that failed to implement fair employment practices. </li></ul><ul><li>These laws remain a part of the legal responsibilities under which organizations abide by today. </li></ul>
  5. 5. History of Diversity in the Workplace <ul><li>Although many organizations became more diverse, there were still organizations inhospitable to certain classes of workers, and were slow to change. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to foster the development of more diverse organizational cultures, companies began to offer training programs aimed at valuing diversity. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Business Case for Diversity <ul><li>The belief that diversity is a business necessity because a more diverse workforce produces better business results. </li></ul><ul><li>Many organizations began to see that having diversity in the workplace was a precursor to diversity in the market place. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Effects of Diversity in the Workplace <ul><li>Solid research needed to be conducted to support the idea that diversity was beneficial to the workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity was found to be a lot more complex than it was originally thought to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Research indicates that diversity can produce both positive and negative effects when introduced and enforced in the workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence suggests that diversity may produce conflict and employee turnover as well as more creativity and innovation </li></ul>
  8. 8. Benefits of Diversity <ul><li>Groups with greater diversity were shown to have greater innovation and creativity. </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse groups have a greater range of perspectives, and are able to generate more high quality solutions than less diverse groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity increases constructive group processes and is positively associated with performance in business units. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, greater market share, more customers, and greater profits. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Negative Effects of Diversity <ul><li>Diverse groups are shown to be less integrated and have a higher level of dissatisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Increases the level of dissatisfaction in group members, as well as miscommunication. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity can be linked with conflict, lower group adhesiveness, increased employee turnover and absenteeism, and lower quality of performance. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Factors that Effect Diversity <ul><ul><li>Research suggests that whether or not diversity has a positive or negative effect depends on different aspects of the organization’s strategies, culture, and human resource practices. This indicates that diversity may be beneficial under certain conditions and in certain organizations (Pugh, Dietz, Brief, & Wiley, 2008). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size of the organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age of the organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type of organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity of the community surrounding an organization </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Diversity Training <ul><li>As diversity in the workforce grows at an amazing rate, more and more organizations are now focusing on diversity in the workplace by emphasizing recruitment, selection, retention, and training. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Diversity Training <ul><li>Diversity training has three major objectives in the workplace: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increase awareness about diversity issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reduce biases and stereotypes that deter from effective management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>change behaviors to help effectively manage a diverse workforce </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Effectiveness of Diversity Training <ul><li>With diversity training, employees have a greater understanding of the value diversity, better diversity management skills, and more effective diversity related behaviors . </li></ul><ul><li>After undergoing training, managers saw diversity related practices as more important than they did prior to the training, and were more likely to positively engage in diversity related practices. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Diversity in the Workplace Today <ul><li>While many organizations are embracing diversity in the workforce, there are still organizations today that remain unreceptive. Although many government agencies and Fortune 500 companies provide diversity training, around 40% of organizations still do not. </li></ul><ul><li>Even the organizations that claim to be strong advocates for diversity do not have the statistics to back their claims. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 30% of female employees hold management positions in Wal-Mart This is a very low number considering 70% of their employees are female. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Diversity in the Workplace Today <ul><li>Gender discrimination is still a huge problem within many organizations. Many male managers are slow to promote female employees to managerial positions. A Senior Vice President interviewed by Turner (2007), was quoted saying, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Well, yes we need to have more women in senior positions. Our senior leadership team includes only men. But, personally, I’m just less comfortable with women on the senior team. We spend a lot of time together. You know you always have to be worried about the sexual harassment thing, what you say, how you say it…But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue it .” </li></ul><ul><li>Other companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch show extreme racial preference, with a reputation for hiring people to fit their image of a “Classic American,” which they believe are attractive white employees. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Diversity in the Workplace Today <ul><li>Other companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch show extreme racial preference, with a reputation for hiring people to fit their image of a “Classic American,” which they believe are attractive white employees. Due to this, they have faced many lawsuits </li></ul>
  17. 17. Diversity in the Workplace Today <ul><li>Many of these companies now claim that diversity is important to them, especially on their websites, however it is clear that this is only in response to the many lawsuits they’ve faced. </li></ul><ul><li>Marques states “It becomes apparent, however, when studying the background of these appealing statements, that they were not formulated spontaneously, but, just like A&F above, merely as a reaction to massive discrimination lawsuits” (2010). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>It is clear that diversity has a profound effect in the workplace. While many studies have been conducted, these studies show conflicting results, implying further research is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>As the workforce continues to grow more diverse at a staggering rate, it is necessary for organizations to embrace diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Although many organizations have increased their acceptance of diversity, it has yet to fully garner a majority of support </li></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><ul><li>Brief, A., & Pugh, S.D., Dietz, J., & Wiley, J.W. (2008). Looking inside and out: The impact of employee and community demographic composition on organizational diversity climate . Journal of Applied Psychology: American Psychological Association , 93(6 ), Nov 2008, 1422-1428. doi: 10.1037/a0012696 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Herring, C (2009). Does diversity pay?: Race, gender, and the business case for diversity. American Sociological Review April 2009 74 no. 2 208-224. doi 10.1177/0003122Business Case for Diversity. 40907400203 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kochan, T., Bezrukova, K., Ely, R., Jackson, S., Joshi, A., Jehn, K., Leonard J., Levine, D., Thomas., D (2002). The effect of diversity on business performance: report of the diversity research Network. Study commissioned by the Business Opportunities for Leadership Diversity (BOLD) initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Levy, P (2010) . Industrial organizational psychology, understanding the workplace (3 rd ed.). (pp. 218-220). New York, New York: Worth Publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marques, J. F.(2010). Colorful window dressing: A critical review on workplace diversity in three major american corporations. Human Resource Development Quarterly , 2 1 ( 4 ), November 2010, doi: 10.1002/hrdq.20045 </li></ul></ul>