Diversity in the workplace


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Diversity in the workplace

  1. 1. Challenges and Benefits Salma M. Jafar Social Innovations July 2011
  2. 2.  What is Diversity? Multiculturalism Examples of multiculturalism Barriers and Challenges Why Manage Diversity What are the benefits Business Case of Diversity at workplace How to Manage Diversity
  3. 3.  Age, race, class, color, religion, ethnicity Gender Physical and mental ability, Sexual orientation and spiritual practice social status and job title Disabilities and physical appearance, competency, training, experience, personal habits
  4. 4. It is about Acknowledging Understanding Accepting Valuing and Celebrating these differences
  5. 5.  Diversity is not just about differences among groups, but rather about differences among individuals. Each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group. (BIASES)
  6. 6.  Simply means encouraging the existence of multiple cultures Emerged as a reaction to the long history of powerful groups in ethnically diverse societies Extreme manifestations have been genocides and ethnic cleansing ( Germany, Bosnia Apartheied in SA) Forced Assimilation policies eg Turkey –Kurds More widespread forms have been formal (laws and polices) and informal (everyday practice discrimination) Dominance is becoming weaker Formal discrimination and forced assimilation exist sheepishly in Africa and Asia Informal discrimination thrives everywhere
  7. 7.  Assumption: minorities lag behind because of themselves rather than societal hurdles The blunt message is to adopt the dominant culture Backlash: Europe and America Affirmative action for 4 decades whereas slavery four centuries Europe bans symbols for example french ban on Burqa and Swiss Minarets Federalism to integrate ethnically diverse population: significant cultural political and economic autonomy with minimum federal jurisdiction Confederalism is rare ( Ethiopia)
  8. 8.  The focus initially was on forced assimilation Regional identities were not recognized ( One Unit system) Better sense prevailed but only after losing East Pakistan A federal structure was adopted that recognized regional ethic diversity ( still ignores smaller ethnicities like Hazara or seriaki) Religious Minorities: status is poor due to formal or non formal discrimination Discriminatory laws
  9. 9.  Melting Pot Tossed Salad Tomato Soup Melting Pot: Encouraging new immigrants to assimilate into the new society Salad Bowl or what is known in Canada cultural mosiac retaining their own culture while integrating into the new society Tomato Soup: the blending of new ingredients adds spice without compromising the essential character of tomato.
  10. 10.  People coming from multiple backgrounds Culture influences psychological side of personality Groups fail to empathies with each other What Happens Mars productivity & effectiveness of work environment, Disturbing the business consequently.
  11. 11.  Problem of general acceptability of other cultures and religions Losses in personnel due to prejudices and discrimination Complaints and also legal actions Eventually damaging morale and work productivity
  12. 12. Perceptions How people perceive themselves buthow they perceive others.Stereotyping Generalizations of the characteristics of agroup (often wrong- limited- misleading) Asians shrewd and reserved Americans arrogant and materialistic Central Americans disorganized and impractical These perceptions and stereotypes affect our interactions and block cooperation
  13. 13. workplace is: Changing Evolving Diversifying
  14. 14.  Fostering of a wider talent pool Becoming an employer of choice Better morale Improved decision-making processes and capabilities Diversity is an invaluable competitive asset that Pakistan cannot afford to ignore Managing and valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity
  15. 15.  A company that employs a diverse workforce (men and women, people of many generations, from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc.) is better able to: Understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves Thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company having limited range of employee demographics. A company that supports the diversity of its workforce can also improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. If workforce is diverse, but employer takes little or no advantage of that breadth of experience, then it cannot Monetize benefits background diversity offers.
  16. 16.  Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It involves recognizing the value of differences, Combating discrimination Breaking down Stereotypes
  17. 17.  Prejudice Stereotyping Discrimination should never be used by management for hiring, retention, and termination practices (could lead to costly litigation). Manager should focus on Personal awareness. Both managers and associates need to be aware of
  18. 18.  Managers should expect change to be slow Promote a “safe” place for associates to communicate Breeding regard and respect for religions, ethnicities and races in training workshops Standard setting by the senior management
  19. 19.  Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity Foster openness in the organization to express ideas and opinions Promote diversity in leadership positions Launch a customized employee satisfaction survey
  20. 20.  Assessment of workplace diversity to determine which challenges and obstacles are present and which policies need to be added or scrapped A comprehensive, measurable Policy and a Plan to decide on a time line for effective change In implementation stage the commitment of the executive is a must A diversity training maintain ongoing training -a one-day session of training will not change peoples behaviors /stereotypes Utilize training – to shape diversity policy
  21. 21.  A diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. Diverse work teams bring high value to organizations. Respecting individual differences benefit the workplace - by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management creates a fair and safe environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges. Management tools should be used to educate everyone about
  22. 22.  What are the diversity issues How does diversity challenge you What are you willing to do to change
  23. 23.  Thanks for your Time!