Managing Diversity In New Zealand Essay

2461 words - 10 pages

Managing diversity is an issue that is significant in today’s global environment, and is only predicted to increase in importance due to the changing face of the workplace. The need to adapt to the changing labour market and have a competitive advantage over others is essential for success. This essay will address this issue by outlining the significance and implications of having a diverse workforce, whilst also focusing on the various perspectives. These include the associated benefits and challenges in managing an ethnically diverse workplace, as well as the various views relating to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and diversity management. It will come to show that the only way for New Zealand (NZ) to move forward in the changing corporate environment, is to adopt change and embrace ethnic diversity in order to achieve organisational success.

Managing diversity has become an increasingly significant global issue. The world is becoming more mobile and diverse; meaning the composition of the workplace is altering to include a wider range of ethnic groups. Although in NZ there has been a downward trend in the European population from the 2001 (79%) to 2006 NZ census (67.6%), this group remains dominant. This descending pattern is predicted to continue (Macky, 2008), with the 2016 workforce of Auckland estimated to be only half European (EEO Trust, n.d.). As the Maori, Pacific, and Asian populations are on the rise, NZ’s Human Resource Management practices will need to change. The prevalence of new migrant workers means NZ has an increasingly non-traditional culture. Because NZ relies on skilled migrant workers to fill positions left by those leaving the country and retiring, NZ needs to compete with other countries to gain those workers (Singham, 2006). Furthermore, the fact that NZ employs staff from various countries because of expansions, mergers, or takeovers also needs considering (Macky, 2008). Acknowledging these differences and examining new methods to accommodate these ethnic groups is required (Rudman, 1999). Our productivity and long-term success is dependent on adapting our workplace practices. The best way to ensure migrants continue to choose NZ is to celebrate the contributions they bring by endorsing a multi-cultural environment (Singham, 2006). If NZ does not improve the recruitment and retention of skilled workers from different backgrounds, then trained talent will go to competitors overseas (EEO Trust, n.d.).

Diversifying the workplace is no longer a recommendation, but a strategic imperative. Diversity refers to recognising individual differences and understanding that each individual is unique. This can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious or political beliefs, and physical abilities (Albrecht, 2001). This means the workplace population is no longer traditionally homogeneous, but increasingly heterogeneous. In doing so, the flexibility of NZ to adapt with a...

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