Challenges and Benefits Salma M. Jafar Social Innovations July 2011
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
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
It is about Acknowledging Understanding Accepting Valuing and Celebrating these differences
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)
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
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It involves recognizing the value of differences, Combating discrimination Breaking down Stereotypes
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
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
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
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
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
What are the diversity issues How does diversity challenge you What are you willing to do to change