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Diversity Essay

1083 words - 4 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 Diversity
DiversityAntoine CameronMgt 331Mark BentcoverJuly 16, 2007DiversityThere are numerous ways in which to define diversity. Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. (Wentling, 1997). A broad definition includes not only race, gender, ethnicity, age, national origin, religion and disability, but may include sexual orientation, values, personality, education, language, physical appearance, marital status, lifestyle, beliefs and background characteristics.There is a significant increase in women and minority populations in the workplace; Americans continue to mature; an increasing number of minority youths are becoming part of the workforce; gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals are becoming an important part of the workforce and marketplace; people with disabilities are also increasingly entering the labor force; and more business is becoming global. (Wentling, 1997). Nearly half of all workers will be women, and more than a quarter will likely be members of minority races. About 40% of the work force will be over 45 years of age and only about 15% of new entrants will be the young white males (Labich, 1996). And yet another statistic, the Hispanic population is quickly becoming the largest minority group in the United States and the fastest growing ethnic faction in the civilian labor force (Forst, 1997). With these changes marching forward ever so rapidly, it is no wonder that management must battle to stay on top of diversity issues.Diversity is fast becoming the corporate watchword of the decade--not because corporations are becoming kinder and gentler toward culturally diverse groups but because they want to survive. And in order to survive a growing number of U.S. organizations will have to recruit, train, and promote culturally diverse employees. In essence, this is nothing more than developing additional human resources.The challenge of getting women and minorities into senior-level management positions is difficult. While the proportion of women and minorities in the workforce has increased significantly during the past decade, few of them have made it to the top. Specifically, women and minorities account for more than 50 percent of the American workforce but they comprise less than 5 percent of senior management positions. Gains have been slow. For example, in 1983 there were 482,000 (4.5%) black Americans in executive, administrative, and managerial positions; in 1991 there were 858,000 (5.7%). This was a modest gain of 1.2 percent. Also in 1991, only three out of every one hundred top executive positions in Fortune 500 corporations were held by women. There is indeed a glass ceiling--an invisible barrier that prevents a disproportionate number of women and minorities from rising...

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