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A workforce that is more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, age, and other

characteristics that reflect differences.

a workforce that consists of individuals who bring different experiences and

perspectives to the workplace and who have distinctive needs, preferences,
expectations, and lifestyles. Employees represent differences that are associated
with such characteristics as ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientations, and
disabilities. Other differences include nationality, cultural heritage, personal
background, functional experience, and position in the organization.

The most important key ingredient in this shift is:

A) The changing demographics in the US. Minorities, now roughly one-third of the US
population, are expected to become the majority by 2042. Considering consumer purchasing
power in 2013, Hispanics will account for 9.9 % of all US buying power; African-Americans
will have an 8.8% share; and Asians will represent a 5.4% share, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) will reach a buying power of $835 billion by 2013 (as per some surveys)
B) Globalization, and the changing facesin terms of language, culture, and religionof both
customers and workers will represent an even more diverse mix.
C) Generational gaps: The new trend the trend of people living longer and retiring later,
resulted in four distinct generations working side by sideconservatives, baby boomers,
Generation X, and Generation Y or Millennialseach with its own mind-set, work habits,
technology attitudes, and customs.
D) Increasing number of dual-income families and single working mothers
Leading companies know its essential to consistently maintain diversity as a top business
imperative over a period of, at minimum, five years before diversity can gain traction and
become part of the way those companies do business. True diversity is not just about the mix
that constitutes the workforce; its also about a companys customers and business
Among the advantages of diversity in the workplace are:
1. Creativity increases when people with different ways of solving difficult problems work
together towards a common solution create more diverse ideas that develop a workable answer.

Other cultures can offer insightful alternatives Americans might not have considered. This is a
great advantage of diversity in the workplace.
2. Productivity increases exponentially when people of all cultures pull together towards a
single inspiring goal. Foreign executives and employees bring in different sets of competency
and skills because of globalization and internationalization.
3. Language skills needed in todays increasingly global economyand diverse workers often
have this proficiency. If a company needs specific knowledge or language skills, it may hire
foreign nationals for help. While English is the language of the world. for business, it ranks
second in the world behind Chinese and just slightly ahead of Hindustani. Languages skills help
build relationships with the other people of the world.. It is an advantage of workplace diversity
to enable people from other cultures help us understand not just their words, but also the
meaning behind what they are saying.
4. Understanding how the United States fits into the world picture is crucial. By relating to
people of all backgrounds, Americans will gain a greater perspective on how different cultures
operate and experience greater success in global business as a result.
5. New attitudes are brought to the business table by people from diverse cultures. Time
management is a great example where in the US time is money, in some cultures and time is
for building relationships and an integral part of getting to know the other party you are
considering doing business with before starting a transaction.
6. New processes can result when people with different ideas come together and collaborate. In
todays fast-moving world, change and adaptation are a must. workers must bring multiple skills
to the environment, think cross culturally, and adapt quickly to new situations. Those who meet
these criteria are likely to do well, regardless of cultureeven in tough economic times.
In conclusion, Workplace diversity can make American companies more productive and more
profitable. They also bring differences that we must understand and embrace for those benefits to
be realized.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

When organizations manage workplace diversity by implementing diversity strategies, the
advantages are plenty.
The companies are poised to compete in a global economy by attracting the best available
talent from around the
world, along with forming strategic partnerships among the best companies operating.
In fact, businesses in North America enjoy the many benefits of ethnic, religious and cultural
diversity. Top
innovators of technology have operated with diverse workforces since the 1980s and now
virtually all top

corporations see diversity as a basic feature of their hiring policies. Workplace diversity
comprises race, gender,
ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, educational levels and socio-economic status. It
also includes religious
beliefs, life stages, education, career responsibilities, sexual orientation, personality and
marital status.
Chances are that many in the workplace may not even be aware of how many benefits are
derived from a diversity
of styles, fashion, music and opinion. Many successful businesses have taken an active part
in embracing diversity,
yet there are still many businesses unaware of the numerous benefits that workplace
diversity brings.
When an organization acknowledges differences among its workforce, it can manage its
employees in such a way
as to create harmony in work practices and higher standards of cooperation. First, it is about
differences in these characteristics within an organization, and second it is about
acknowledging these differences.
And last, it is about developing work practices to create an inclusive environment.
The success of a diverse workforce leads to an innovative culture where ideas flourish and
creativity has no
boundaries. Today, it is imperative for any business to learn how it can tap into the rich and
varied skills of his
workforce by simply embracing the idea of it. A diverse workforce in any office could lead to
a host of profit-making
ideas, innovation, creativity through and an exchange of knowledge. In fact, the very
success of a business these
days could depend on an organization's ability to reap the benefits of diversity.
Attract The Best Talent To Contribute To Your Business: If an organization has built a
reputation for its
workplace diversity, it stands to attract the best available talent and skill in the market both
domestically and
abroad. The company will be able to recruit the best available talent from around the globe
to work on projects
located in the far corners of the world as part of virtual teams. Companies will be able to
develop synergies with
strategic partners located in far away markets. A company can market its products more
easily, taking advantages
of the different languages of its staff to develop and maintain distribution partners once
thought impossible to
reach. Why? Workforce diversity means the ability to conduct business worldwide through
the varied experience of
its employees.
Build A Globally Competitive Workforce: Building a microcosm of the world in the
workplace, equips
managers with the kinds of skills to compete effectively, with efficient services and a wide
reach of resources. A
diverse workforce not only brings professional skills into the office, but also brings people of
different cultures
fluent in various languages and who are capable of understanding international customers'
everyday needs.
Enhance Problem-Solving Efficiency: Imagine having a diverse workforce comprising
different age groups,
education, experience and genders, and being able to brainstorm a business problem
located on another

continent. This was once thought unachievable. Today, it is standard business practice for an
organization facing
fluctuating trends and demands. What is most effective then is to have a workforce capable
of generating a pool of
multiple solutions and ideas. Workplace diversity is now recognized for this crucial role in
effective-problem solving.
Avoid Conflicts, Increase Individual Performance and Retain Your Workforce: An
unhealthy work
atmosphere is often the root cause of high attrition levels in a company. People, however,
require a feeling of
belongingness and security. When they feel supported in their ideas and beliefs they become
more productive. At
core, all among today's skilled workers expect be treated fairly and with respect. If not, they
will soon find plenty
of work elsewhere. Turnover is expensive and unproductive. Moreover, stakeholders are now
demanding that any
organization they invest in must conform to practices that encourage low employee
turnover, provide a healthy
work environment that rewards team performance and empowers workers to express
themselves with an open
Basic Tips and Strategies For Diversity Management
- Organize diversity training to employees at all levels
- Allow affinity networking amongst employees with similar
- Conduct learning sessions among groups, during which
employees share with each other how their varying beliefs, cultures
and traditions shape their professional and personal lives
- Set-long term goals and develop diversity practices during recruitment,
appraisal and lay off.
- Encourage employees to confide in their superiors about problems of
- Carefully analyze the diversity at each employment rank and level
- Reward the attainment of diversity goals from time to time
- Develop training for diversity leadership.
- Actively promote successes of diversity.

About David McLauren, Ph.D.

David is a diversity specialist who speaks five languages. He brings a wealth of education
and expertise to
businesses and brilliantly helps companies increase their profits and productivity through
A highly sought-after keynote speaker, facilitator, and expert on diversity, inclusion, and
multi-cultural issues,
David consistently energizes, educates, and empowers his audiences.
Call today to book him for your next conference! 888.897.4224
Helping you maximize diversity through connector,

diverse Experience
Co-workers with diverse cultural backgrounds bring unique experiences and perceptions to the
table in groups and work teams. Pooling the diverse knowledge and skills of culturally distinct
workers together can benefit companies by strengthening teams' productivity and responsiveness

to changing conditions. Each employee in a diverse workplace possesses unique strengths and
weaknesses derived from their culture in addition to their individuality. When managed properly,
diversity in the workplace can leverage the strengths and complement the weaknesses of each
worker to make the impact of the workforce greater than the sum of its parts.

Learning And Growth

Another advantage of workplace diversity is the opportunity for employees' personal growth.
Being exposed to new ideas, cultures and perspectives can help individuals to reach out
intellectually and gain a clearer view of their surroundings and their place in the world. Spending
time with culturally diverse co-workers can slowly break down the subconscious barriers of
ethnocentrism and xenophobia, encouraging employees to be more well-rounded members of

Communication Issues
Diversity impacts workplace communication in positive and negative ways. Between coworkers, diversity can place impediments in the way of effective communication, which can
directly dampen productivity and the cohesiveness of small groups. Spending time with diverse
employees can break down communication barriers over the long-term, but first impressions and
co-workers' orientation periods can be difficult to control when cultures clash. Diversity can
strengthen your company's relationships with specific customer groups by making
communication more effective. Customer service representatives can be paired up with
customers from their specific demographic, making the customer feel comfortable with the
representative, and thus with the company. A number of companies in the southwest United
States, for example, prefer to hire bi-lingual customer service reps to deal with Spanish-speaking
customers in their native language.

Integration Issues
Social integration at work can only be influenced to a small degree. The formation of cliques and
exclusive social groups is a natural process that can be impossible to control at times. Because of
this, companies can experience informal divisions in their staff, creating a situation where
culturally diverse employees avoid exposure to each other during break times and after work.
Although there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this scenario, it can hinder the effectiveness
of sharing knowledge, skills and experience, thus curbing productivity growth and the
effectiveness of teams.

ere are 13 Benefits of a Diverse Workforce:

1. Improves corporate culture

2. Improves employee morale

3. Leads to a higher retnetion of employees
4. Leads to an easier recruitment of new employees
5. Decreases complaints and litigation
6. Increases creativity
7. Decreases interpersonal conflict between employees
8. Enables the organization to move into emerging markets
9. Improves client relations
10. Increases productivity
11. Improves the bottom line
12. Maximizes brand identity
13. Reduces training costs

In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois in 2009, both racial and
gender diversity were found to contribute positively to sales, customers and profits. Racial
diversity can also positively influence market share, although the impact of gender on market
share was not significant in the study. In addition, companies often can increase their creativity
by encouraging diverse opinions and perspectives. Company recruiters can also widen the talent
pool if they recruit employees based on relevant qualifications and experience, rather than
limiting their search on race, gender, age or other grounds that are not central to the role.

Although employing a diverse workforce has many advantages, it comes with some
disadvantages as well. A company that recruits and employs a diverse workforce must create a
culture that promotes dignity and respect to avoid tension between employees. In addition,
communication may be adversely affected if employees' first language is not English. Existing
employees may leave the organization if their personal prejudices prevent them from working
with colleagues from a different background. As another disadvantage, the investigation of

employee complaints regarding negative attitudes and harassment can take up a considerable
amount of management time, whether or not they are upheld.
Managing Diversity

The key to employing a diverse workforce is to train and support managers within the
organization. Managers must understand the need to support individuals within the team,
balancing conflicting needs and opinions. Each team member must have the opportunity to be
heard and feel that their opinions are respected. Managers also need to understand and deal
constructively with their own biases and prejudices. By offering opportunities to all employees
based on their performance, a company can increase its productivity and creativity.
Top Down Attitude: Stuff tends to flow down hill. Whether that stuff is physical
mass, like water flowing down a mountain stream, or the attitudes of the top brass
in an organization, the thoughts and actions of those in charge are highly likely to
be reflected by managers and workers down the chain of command. For this reason,
it is important that all are on board when it comes to embracing the need for
diversity and how the organization plans to implement changes.
Step 1

Confirm that all of your personnel policies from hiring to promotions and raises are based on
employee performance. Avoid allowing tenure, ethnic background or any other kind of category
into your human resources policies. Managing a diverse workplace begins with strong policies of
equality from the company. Once these policies are in place, the company can begin
implementing diversity measures throughout the entire organization.
Step 2

Rate the qualifications of the candidate based on the quality of his experience, not age or any
other category, when hiring. When you hire a diverse but qualified workforce, you are on the
right track towards being able to manage the diversity in your company.
Step 3

Encourage diversity when creating teams and special work groups within the company. If a
manager creates a work group that does not utilize the skills of the most qualified employees,
then insist that the group be changed to include all qualified staff members.

Step 4

Treat complaints of favoritism or discrimination seriously. Encourage employees to report all

instances of discriminatory behavior, and have a definitive process in place for investigating and
dealing with these issues.
Step 5

Hold quarterly trainings for the entire staff on the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Encourage discussions at these meetings on how the company can better manage workplace
Resistance to change - There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the
social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The "we've always done it this way"
mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.
Article Source:
Implementation Of Diversity-Related Policies: Companies that invest time and
money into diversity training and the development of company policy designed to
reflect this are not automatically ensured a diverse and dynamic workplace. Some
employees, including those in positions of authority, may be unwilling to adopt and
implement these policies.

Diversity Management The Challenges And Opportunities

Document Transcript

1. 1

2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The knowledge of our theoretical studies is absolutely

incomplete without its proper implementation and application in todays diversified
corporate world. With profound sense of gratitude and regard, we convey our sincere
thanks to our teacher, Dr. Shuchi Agarwal for her valuable guidance and the confidence
she instilled in us, that helped us in completion of the project report. We would like to
thank her for providing the basic knowledge of Organizational Behavior, project topic &
the methodology to be used for preparing the report. An undertaking of study like this is
never an outcome of efforts put in by a single person; rather it bears imprint of number of
persons who directly or indirectly helped us in completing the study. 2

3. CONTENTS 1. Diversity Introduction Managing Diversity Why Manage

Diversity? Indian and USA Context 2. Managing Workforce Diversity as A
Challenge An Asset 3. World Best Companies to work for(Fortune Magazine) 4. How
to Manage Diversity in an Organization? 5. Diversity Policy Ways to ensure that
Diversity program is successful Policies that support Diversity at HP 6. A Case Study :
Diversity at IBM 7. Conclusion Bibliography 3

4. Diversity Management The Challenges & Opportunities Introduction Diversity is

ubiquitous. We all are aware of it since decades .No two persons are similar. The world
has been and is a stage of huge mix of people with different backgrounds, religion, castes,
race, culture, behavior, age, marital status, nationality, educational qualification, political
affiliation, levels of ability, personality, gender and many more which vary across the
globe. Other sources of differences include socio - economic background of individuals,
membership and non membership of unions, forms and quality/quantity of education,
period and nature of employment, drives to work, and work styles. Work place diversity
therefore, intends to also consist of social, economic and political visible and non visible
differences which might not have a direct creational origin from the work place, but
certainly have direct impact on work attitude and performance at the work place.
Diversity itself relates to the fact that we are all unique individuals. Organizations are
becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. A typical organization is emerging as a place of
diverse workforce in terms of gender, race and ethnicity. One can find a Shastri rubbing
shoulders with a khan, both jostling with a Gowda, and all shaking hands with a Singh.
Then there are physically handicapped, gays and lesbians, the elderly and even people
who are significantly overweight 4

5. Though they work together, they maintain their distinct identities, diverse culture and
separate lifestyles. Managers of today must learn to live with these diverse behaviors.
Diversity, if properly managed, can increase creativity and innovation in organizations as
well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems.
Diversity mainly came into the picture when globalization came in 1990-91.As the wave
of globalization sweeps across the organizations, there is a convergence of workforce
from diverse countries, cultures, values, styles etc .Such convergence of distinctly
different people presents tremendous opportunities as well as challenges. Organizations
can derive unassailable lead in the marketplace when they have in place effective Human
Resource Management practices and diversity initiatives that accepts differences, values
equality and creates preferred places to work And as we enter the 21st century, workforce
diversity has become an essential business concern. In the so-called information age, the
greatest assets of most companies are now on two feet (or a set of wheels). Undeniably,
there is a talent war raging. No company can afford to unnecessarily restrict its ability to
attract and retain the very best employees available. 5

6. Managing Diversity A management system which eliminates the differences found in a

multicultural workforce in a manner which results in the highest level of productivity for
both the organization and the individual. In simple words managing diversity means
managing people in the best interest of employee as well as employer. Managing

diversity is an on-going process that explore the various talents and capabilities which a
diverse population bring to an organization, community or society, so as to create a
wholesome, inclusive environment, that is safe for differences, enables people to
reject rejection, celebrates diversity, and maximizes the full potential of all, in a
cultural context where everyone benefits from Multiculturalism, as the art of managing
diversity, is an inclusive process where no one is left out. Earlier, the management
followed melting pot approach to differences in workforce. It was assumed that people
who were different would somehow manage with the majority group. But it is now
recognized that employees dont set aside their values, beliefs, lifestyles, preferences, etc
when they come to work. Therefore, it is desirable to recognize and value such
differences by adapting management practices to different life and work styles, etc of the
diverse group. Diversity management involves creating a supportive culture where all
employees can be effective. In creating this culture it is important that top management
strongly support workplace diversity as a company goal and include diversity initiatives
in their companies' business strategies. It has grown out of the need for organization to
recognize the changing workforce and other social pressures that often result. 6

7. Why Manage Diversity There are various reasons explaining the need to manage
diversity. They are: A large number of women are joining the work-force. Work-force
mobility is increasing. Young workers in the work-force are increasing Ethnic
minorities' proportion constantly in the total work-force is increasing. International
careers and expatriate are becoming common. Diversity can be seen through these
figures in Indian context Over 400 million women are employed in various streams
Around 30 percent of the workforce in the IT sector is women Socially disadvantaged
people (scheduled casts/tribes, etc.) have entered organizations as a result of a policy of
reservations and concessions. Old employees have grown in number because of
improved medical and health care. IT Industries like Infosys, TCS and Wipro are
actively recruiting foreign nationals and women, both by choice and design. Bharti
Enterprise has mandated their recruitment agencies to have a 25-30% percentage of
women candidates at the interview stage. Diversity in companies is no longer about being
melting pots, but being salad bowls,quot; according to Grady Searcy. quot;We want
people to retain their identity yet 7

8. be integrated into the company Currently, 7.5 per cent of our workforce consists of
non-Indians,quot; said Mr. S Padmanabhan, Executive Vice President and head Global
human resource, TCS said while speaking at the Nasscom HR Summit on `The War for
Talent'. The Indian workplace is no different from global MNCs.TCS has announced
plans to hire about 4,000 people from across the world. A majority of HLL customers are
women but till 2000 women constituted just 5% of its management. Alarmed by that
number, the company put in place a plan to hire more women. It looked at companies like
ICICI , which had a far better representation of women in their workforce. HLL started
several initiatives like a six-month fully paid maternity leave as well as a five-year
sabbatical. IN USA By 2050 the percentage of Hispanics will grow from todays 11
percent of workforce to 24 percent Blacks from 12.5 to 14 percent Asians from 5
percent to 11.5 percent The 55 + age group which currently makes 13 percent labour

force will increase to 20.5 percent by 2014 The white non-Hispanic percentage of the
population has decreased from 77.7 percent in 1990 to 73.1% in 2000 and it is projected
to decrease further to 69.2% by 2010. Number of female workers have increased from
29.6 percent in 1950 to 46.7 percent in 2003 and are projected to increase to 47% by
2010 Currently, as per ILO report, 45% of world women population aged (15-64) are
employed. 8

9. Challenges in Managing Employee Diversity Diversity presents managers with

following set of challenges: 1. Individual versus Group Fairness: This issue is closely
related to the difference in divisive versus better i.e. how far management should go in
adapting HR programs to diverse employee groups. 2. Resistance to Change: Long
established corporate culture is very resistant to change and this resistance is a major
roadblock for women and minorities seeking to survive and prosper in corporate setting.
3. Resentment: Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) was imposed by government
rather than self initiated. The response to this forced change was in many cases grudging
compliance. 4. Group Cohesiveness and Interpersonal Conflict: Although employee
diversity can lead to greater creativity and better problem solving; it can also lead to open
conflict and chaos if there is mistrust and lack of respect among groups. This means that
as organizations become more diverse, they face greater risks that employees will not
work together effectively. Interpersonal friction rather than cooperation may become the
norm 9

10. 5. Segmented Communication Networks: It has been seen that most communication
in the organization occurs between people with some similarities either by way of gender
or by way of same place. 6. Backlash: Some group in the organization feels that they
have to defend themselves against encroachments by those using their gender or ethnicity
to lay claim to organizational resources .Thus, while women and minorities may view a
firms cultural diversity policy as a commitment to improving their chances of
advancement. 7. Retention: The job satisfaction levels of women and minorities are often
lower than those of majorities. Therefore it becomes difficult to retain such people in an
organization. 8. Competition for Opportunities: Already, there are rising tensions among
the disadvantaged groups jockeying for advancement. Employers are being put into the
uncomfortable position of having to decide which disadvantaged group is most deserving.

11. Diversity as an Asset Diversity in the work force was previously thought to lead to
garbled communications, conflict, and a less efficient workplace. Today, many firms
realize that diversity can actually enhance organizational effectiveness. a) New Products
and Services: Diversity generates ideas in geometric progression fuelling greater
creativity and innovation. It can stimulate consideration of less obvious alternatives. This
results in flurry of new products and services to meet the customers expectation and
needs. b) Better teamwork: Organizations are operating in such a fashion that it is
impossible to function without teamwork. Interacting with diverse workforce is leading to
better ideas and enhancing the morale and motivation in the organization c) Better Image:
Companies that have diverse workforce are having better image, reputation and patronage

than those who do not encourage diversity. This has huge impact on expansion of
business as it can reduce the talent crunch by targeting the diverse groups. 11

12. d) Effective and Happy workforce: Adept handling of diversity can multiply
motivation and enhance productivity due to the satisfaction employees enjoy on being
treated fairly, valued equally and given dignity at workplaces. It reduces the chances of
absenteeism and attrition too as the undue stress, unnecessary frustration or low morale
due to being insensitive, discriminatory etc gets drastically reduced. Hence, many
organization are charting diversity initiative not merely to comply with legal obligations
but reap the business benefits especially in term of better recruitment and higher retention
among the talented workforce e) Expansion of Markets: Globalization has brought
together heterogeneous teams to enhance the problem solving capabilities and produce
creative solutions leading to expansion of business landscape. 12

13. Worlds Best Companies To Work For ( Fortune 500 Magazine) Women Has Non
Discrimination Policy that Minorities Company Name Rank (Percentage) to Men
includes Sexual Orientation? Ratio Google 1 36 33 Yes Quicken Loans 2 19 44 Yes
Wegmans Food Markets 3 15 53 Yes Edward Jones 4 6 65 Yes Genentech 5 44 50 Yes
Cisco Systems 6 41 25 Yes Starbucks 7 35 66 Yes 70 60 50 40 30 Minorities Women to
Men Ratio 20 10 0 Google Quicken Wegmans Edward Genentech Cisco Starbucks Loans
Food Jones Systems Markets According to the above mentioned data, we can analyse that
best companies (to work for) works with diverse group of people. Google, ranked first by
fortune500 magazine, employs about 36 % minority people and 33 % womens 13

14. in its workforce. Comparatively Edward Jones and Starbucks, ranked fourth and
seventh respectively accounts for more than 60% women manpower. Each of these
companies has non discrimination policy which is followed strictly so as to ensure equity.
This represents their efforts to recognize diversity and make use of it in a positive manner
i.e. as a companys asset How to Manage Diversity in an Organization Diversity can be
managed in an organization by taking following steps: i. Embrace Diversity: Successfully
valuing diversity starts with accepting the principle of multiculturalism. Accept the value
of diversity for its own sake not simply because you have to. The acceptance must be
reflected in actions and words. ii. Recruit Broadly: When you have job openings, work to
get a diverse applicant pool. Avoid relying on referrals from current employees, since this
tends to produce candidates similar to existing work force. An exception is that if the
present workforce is fairly diversified then there is no harm in accepting referrals from
current employees. iii. Select Fairly: Make sure your selection process does not
discriminate. Particularly ensure that selection tests are job related. iv. Provide
Orientation and Training: Making the transition from outsider to insider can be
particularly difficult for non-traditional employees. 14

15. v. Sensitize all Employees: Encourage all employees to embrace diversity. Provide
diversity training to help all employees see the value in diversity. vi. Strive to be Flexible:
Part of valuing diversity is recognizing that different groups have different needs and
values. Be flexible in accommodating employee requests. vii. Seek to Motivate
Individually: A manager or the superior must be aware of the back ground, cultures, and

values of employees. The motivation factors for a full time working mother to support her
two young children are different from the needs of a young, single, part-time employee or
an older employee who is working to supplement his or her retirement income. viii.
Reinforce Employee Differences: Encourage employees to embrace and value diverse
views. Create traditions and ceremonies that promote diversity. Celebrate diversity by
accentuating its positive aspects. But also be prepared to deal with the challenges of
diversity such as mistrust, miscommunication, and lack of cohesiveness, attitudinal
differences and stress. ix. Involve all when Designing the Program: Involve as many
employees from every level in the organization as you can when designing a diversity
initiative. This gets people talking about the program and promotes ownership and buyin. 15

16. x. Avoid stereotypes: Stereotypes are pre conceived notions which a person holds for
particular person. They are beliefs that all members of specific groups share similar traits
and are likely to behave in the same way. Stereotypes create categories and then fit
individuals into them. Holding Stereotypes are harmful for several reasons. A person may
be misunderstood early in an interaction. Contributions may be limited and specific
strengths or talents may be overlooked because they do not seem prominent in the given
stereotypical category. On the other hand, poor performance can be overlooked in an
individual because they belong to a stereotypically desirable group. By allowing
stereotypes to manage people we create natural divisions within the organization.
Managers can combat this by mixing teams, creating smaller mixed teams for subtasks,
monitoring all team members progress and allowing individuals to volunteer for roles
rather than being cast into their default role as defined by their stereotypical category. In
the current scenario in metro cities and corporate companies there are very few problems
with minority or traditional sector of employees are treated differently. For that matter it
does not reflect in the working at all making the managerial task easier. We can say
differential treatment continues in the government sector due to political orientations and
it is not the minority or backward but majority and so called forward classes are the
sufferers. This also must be eliminated and only one class must get the support that is an
economically backward class belonging to minorities, all castes and creed. 16

17. Diversity Policy Today the attrition rate of every corporate sector is high due to lack
of proper diversity program/policy. It is more challengeable since we are in global
village. Before we look to hire diverse candidates, we must be sure that our
organizational culture and environment support diversity, otherwise retention will
become a challenge The purpose of the Diversity Policy is to encourage an atmosphere in
which all staff embrace the benefits of working in a diverse community and to provide a
framework for the fair and equitable treatment of all employees, job applicants,
customers, suppliers and visitors irrespective of their individual differences or any
personal characteristics. Following are 10 ways to ensure that our diversity program is
successful 1. Make it strategic: Incorporate diversity into your business strategy and
communicate the professional business sense and leadership commitment to diversity;
make training only a part of the overall diversity program; revisit existing policies and
programs to ensure they align with and support your vision for diversity. 2. Make it
measurable: Know your baseline: How do your current employees feel about your

environment - Is it inclusive? Do they feel they are part of the company team? Do they
feel their input is welcome? Periodic climate surveys and ongoing exit interview surveys
can provide you with valuable information with which to measure your program's
effectiveness. 3. Make it relevant to your customers/clients: Who are your current
customers/clients? Who might your new customers/clients be and what 17

18. are their interests? How might you position your organization to meet the needs of an
increasingly diverse market? 4. Make it inclusive:Make your program applicable to all
employees of the organization, rather than targeting people of color, women and/or
disabled employees. 5. Make sure there's accountability: Assign responsibility to a core
team of leadership professionals for the development and implementation of strategic
action plans 6. Make it experiential: Roll out development programs that enable
participants to draw from real world examples and engage in interactive exercises so that
they can try-on new concepts and build new skills. 7. Make it unifying:Rather than
polarizing or alienating, which many diversity programs tend to be as they recreate social
inequities 8. Make it standard:Role model an appreciation of differences from the top
down; the message must stem from leadership and business vision, and be modeled by
senior executives. 9. Make it collaborative: Encourage accountability and ownership of
the responsibility for fostering an inclusive environment by all managers and staff
throughout the organization. 10. Make it comprehensive: Cover the basics, like rolling
out compliance training and developing anti-harassment and anti-bias policies, but be
sure to assign critical importance to the development of intercultural competence and the
associated skills. 18

19. Policies that support Diversity at HP No Discriminating Policy Electronic job

posting Harassment-free work environment Employee network groups Open Door
Policy Education Assistance Program Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Open
communications Management by objective (MBO) Share in company's success
Provide development opportunities Flexible work hours Safe and pleasant work
environment 19

20. A Case Study : Diversity at IBM The case examines the diversity and talent
management practices of the US- based IBM, the leading IT Company in the world. IBM
figured in the Fortune magazine's list of quot;America's Most Admired Companiesquot;
in the year 2004. It was appreciated for recruiting and retaining the best talent across the
world. IBM actively encouraged recruiting people from various social and cultural
backgrounds irrespective of their age, sex or physical status. In the same year, IBM had
developed a talent marketplace to effectively manage its workforce. The marketplace
supported employees to find the most suitable job across different organizational units
within the company. Issues 1. To provide an understanding of diversity and its
significance at the work place. 2. To provide insights on how an organization can
leverage diversity to gain competitive advantage. Introduction In the year 2004, IBM was
listed among the top 10 companies on Fortune magazine's list of quot;America's Most
Admired Companies.quot; The ranking was based on eight variables like employee talent,
innovation, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial

soundness, long-term investment value, and quality of products/services Fortune was

appreciative of IBM for recruiting and retaining the best talent 20

21. across the world. Analysts attributed IBM's success to its skilled diverse workforce
that included people from almost all the countries in the world. Workforce diversity at
IBM Diversity at the work place in the US originated from the concept of EEO (Equal
employment Opportunity) in the 1940s. At IBM, Watson Jr. issued the first equal
opportunity policy letter in 1953. Later, it came under government compliance under the
Civil Rights Act of the US in 1964. With the onset of globalization' in the 1980s,
organizations initiated efforts to broaden their marketplace. In an attempt to sustain
themselves amidst the continuously increasing competition, they started doing business
across the world. This trend made it important for them to focus on diverse cultures
across borders in order to offer products and services that suited the specific needs of
different markets... Recruiting people with disabilities IBM had a well-structured plan in
place for recruiting and training people with disabilities. The recruitment specialists and
hiring managers are specially trained for this purpose. In each business unit, IBM had
line champions' - the managers experienced in hiring and working with people with
disabilities - to facilitate the recruitment process. The company also worked with various
educational institutions for campus recruitment of such candidates .IBM has a diversity
website where prospective candidates with disabilities could submit their resumes
directly... 21

22. Women at workplace IBM started recruiting women professionals well before the
Equal Pay Act, 1963. A letter issued by Watson Sr. in 1935 stated, quot;Men and women
will do the same kind of work for equal pay. They will have the same treatment, the same
responsibilities, and the same opportunities for advancement.quot; IBM's management
has made efforts to find out what are the specific needs of its women employees and
provided women-friendly facilities accordingly. This improved the productivity(of
women) even while maintaining a proper balance between work and family life. IBM
treats diversity as a part of its business strategy. It Have employees from different social
and cultural strata which helps them to understand and serve its customers better. 22

23. Conclusion A diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace.

Diverse work teams bring high value to organizations. Respecting individual differences
will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work
productivity. Diversity management benefits associates by creating a fair and safe
environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges. Management
tools in a diverse workforce should be used to educate everyone about diversity and its
issues, including laws and regulations. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures,
so organizations need to learn how to adapt to be successful practices. Diversity, if
positively managed, can increase creativity and innovation in organization as well as
improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems. When
diversity is not managed properly, there is a potential for higher turnover, more difficultcommunication, and more interpersonal conflicts. 23

24. BIBLIOGRAPHY HRM Review, The Icfai University Press, Managing Diversity,
Nov(2007) Luthans, Fred ; Organisational Behavior Aswathappa K
& Dash Sadhna; International Human Resource Management Robbins, Stephen;
Organisational Behavior Rao V.S.P; Human Resource management Mejia L, Balkin D.V
and Cardy L; Managing Human Resources U.S. Labor
Review 24

A case which came before the Labour Court recently concerned a claim of dismissal, based
wholly or mainly on the ground of Disability. The complainant was employed as a childcare
assistant in a Crche, and had been in that position for over one and a half years when she was
dismissed. Throughout her employment she had suffered from anorexia.
The complainant had, during the course of her employment, been hospitalised on a number of
occasions. She had been absent from work for a period of three months at one stage in 2001, and
when she was certified as fit to return to work, she suffered a recurrence of the symptoms within
three weeks. She was not, at any stage, paid during her sick leave.
It was September 2001 before she was again certified as fit to return to work, whilst at the same
time she continued to receive counselling and other treatment for her disorder. She kept her
employer up to date on all developments throughout this time, and, by December 2001, her
condition had stabilised.
In early 2002 a number of incidents occurred, which caused concern regarding the complainant's
performance. She was found to be wearing jewellery at work, which was prohibited on safety
grounds, and allegations were made against her concerning her erratic behaviour. Verbal
warnings were issued in this regard.
Around May 2002 the complainant began suffering from depression. She requested further time
off, and this was afforded to her. However, at this point the respondent had formed the view that
the complainant was a danger to herself, and the children that she looked after. With this in mind
a decision was taken to dismiss her from employment.
At the end of May she attended a meeting with two members of management, and at this meeting
she was informed that her employment was to be terminated. Although the verbal warnings were
cited as part of the reason for dismissal, a letter to the complainant from the respondent
providing an explanation for her dismissal stated we believe that you need an extended period
of time to complete the treatment you are receiving for the condition that you have. It is also
unsuitable that you would be working in a childcare facility under the present conditions as
confirmed by your doctor.

Upon questioning it transpired that the respondent had not obtained any medical or psychiatric
advice in relation to the complainant's disorder, either from their own doctor, nor the
complainants. Nor had they carried out a risk assessment in relation to her condition. They had
however, concluded themselves that her disorder rendered her unsuitable for the duties for which
she had been hired.
The Equality Officer had to examine a number of issues here. Firstly, had the complainant been
treated any differently than another employee who did not suffer from a disability? In this case it
is clear that the dismissal was based wholly or partly on the complainants disorder, and is
therefore a prime facie case of discrimination.
The Employment Equality Act, however, does not place an onus on an employer to retain an
individual in a position where the individual is not fully competent and available to
undertake... the duties attached to that position. This, it would seem, provides a complete
defence to this claim of discrimination, as the employer had deemed the complainant to be both
unsuitable, and she was often unavailable to undertake her duties.
However, according to the Equality Officers view, an employer is expected to make adequate
enquiries in order to establish the factual position regarding the employee's incapacity. It is in
this respect that the respondent failed the complainant. The nature and extent of enquiries which
an employer must make depend on the case, but the Equality Officer in this case states:
At a minimum, however, an employer, should ensure that he or she is in full possession of all
the material facts concerning the employees condition and that the employee is given fair notice
that the question of his or her dismissal for incapacity is being considered. The employee must
also be allowed an opportunity to influence the employer's decision.
This requires an employer to consider the factual position regarding the disability, and
necessitates them to consider the degree of impairment of the disability and it's likely duration. A
consideration like this should be based on scientific, medical evidence. Furthermore, it appears
that the employee should have some input to the process.
Even if the employer had taken greater consideration of the employee's condition, under the Act
a person with a disability shall not be regarded as other than fully competent... if with the
provision of special treatment or facilities, such person would be fully competent to undertake
those duties.
The Act sets a requirement that an employer do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs
of a person who has a disability by providing special treatment of facilities. Failure to do so
shall not be deemed reasonable, unless such provision would give rise to more than a nominal
cost to the employer.

Put simply, an employer needs to consider if there is another way to organise the work, and see if
any special facilities could be put in place to assist a disabled employee, in order that they may
perform their duties. Again, the employee should be involved in this process, and medical
evidence should be sought.
The Labour Court, in considering this case, accepts that an employer is entitled to take account
of possible dangers resulting from a disability. However, the respondent had made no effort to
obtain a prognosis of the condition, nor did they discuss the situation with the complainant. In
fact, according to the court, the respondent came to a conclusion without the benefit of any form
of professional advice or assessment of the risks associated with her condition. As such, the
court awarded the complainant compensation of 13,000.
The lesson here is that in considering the dismissal of an employee on the basis of their
disability, satisfactory enquiries, including discussing the situation with the employee concerned,
and also seeking the advice of a qualified medical practitioner, are prerequisites. Moreover, if it
is possible that the employee may be capable of carrying out their duties with the assistance of
special facilities or special treatment, then there is an onus on an employer to provide those
Where Do You Stand

The first training activity will increase participant sensitivity to different viewpoints; it
should take approximately 10 to 20 minutes. Write the words "Agree," "Disagree" and
"Unsure" on a board. Read subjective statements about different diversity topics, such as
"I like skinny people" or "I love Indian food." Ask people to stand next to the word that
best fits their response to the statement. Start by asking someone from the largest group
to provide one sentence that best describes the group's response. Do the same with the
medium and smallest groups. Ask the smallest group to recap the sentiments of the larger

Read more: Diversity Workplace Training Ideas |

NSTRUCTIONS - Diversity Quiz

1) There are 26 questions and you will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz.
You may use the internet to assist with your answer but keep in mind that you
are timed.
2) To access the quiz you must click on the start quiz button.

3) Start by reading each questions carefully, then click on your answer.

4) Once you have answered, it will automatically change to the next question.
5) On the left corner, above the question, there is a symbol showing if
you answered the question correctly. There will be a green checkmark for the
right answer and a red X for the wrong answer. If you want to see your answer
and the correct answer, click on the view answer beside the previous question
6) Once you have answered the last question, the screen will appear with your
7) If you receive 70% and over, you will be issued a Certification of
Achievement, which you may print if you like.
8) Grading system:
A: 90% - 100%
B: 80% - 79%
C: 70% - 79%
D: 55% - 69%
E: 0% - 54%
Once upon a time, a giraffe and elephant met at a conference and decided to set up a business
together. They arranged to meet at Giraffes house to discuss plans.
Elephant came but had difficulties with getting into the house the door was very tall and
narrow. Giraffe impatiently waited as Elephant heaved and hoed and squeezed through the door.
Havent you thought of going on a diet? asked Giraffe. It would make it easier for you to fit
through the door. Elephant said No.
Inside, Giraffe invited Elephant to have a cup of tea in the kitchen, before their meeting.
Elephant looked at the stool where he was to sit and tried to get on to it... but it was very high
and Elephant didnt think that he would fit on to it, so he decided to stand. Havent you thought
of joining the gym, asked Giraffe, You need to limber up. No, said Elephant, Ive never had
a problem before.
Giraffe asked Elephant to go to the office, which was upstairs... but the steps were designed for
Giraffes feet and were narrow and widely spaced out. Elephant couldnt make his way upstairs.
This is hopeless, he said... Ill never make it up. Havent you thought of taking up ballet,
said Giraffe. You need to get light on your feet.
The meeting never happened... Giraffe blamed Elephant and Elephant blamed Giraffes house.