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The Different Impacts Diversity Has On An Individual

1201 words - 5 pages

The Different Impacts Diversity Has on an Individual

Diversity refers to the presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2005). Among these individual human characteristics are demographic differences, such as age, gender, sexual-orientation, ablebodiedness, race and ethnicity, and religion. Diversity and demographic differences can impact individual behavior by creating discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices in the work place. The differences that impact individual behavior the most are age, gender, sexual-orientation, and race and ethnicity.

Age Differences

Ages in the workplace can vary from as young as 16 to ages over 60 years old. This vast range of age differences within the workplace can create discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices among individuals. Such stereotypes and prejudices come from the misperception that as people age, their skills, ablebodiedness, and thought processing deteriorates and they are in turn unable to complete their work as effectively and efficiently as their younger counterparts.

According to the United States’ government site for equal opportunity, http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html, setting age limits for employment has become common practice among employers. People over the age of 40 years are at the highest risk of age discrimination, but people of all ages can be victims of age discrimination. The government has created several acts, in which age discrimination is unlawful and not tolerated. In 1967, Congress created the Age Discrimination Act (ADEA), protecting individuals over 40 years old against age discrimination. This act protects both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, “it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age, with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment—including, but not limited to hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training” (ADEA, 1967).
Two other acts that protect individuals from age discrimination are the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (ADA) and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). The ADA protects individuals of all ages from discrimination when applying for programs and actitivities that receive federal financial assistance, and the WIA protects against age discrimination individuals applying for Title I-financially assisted programs and activities, and programs that are part of the One-Stop system.

Gender Differences

Like differences in ages, gender differences also impact individual behavior by creating discrimination and stereotypes. It also creates limitations mainly set for women. The stereotypical woman works at home, taking care of the children, cleaning house, and cooking gormet meals. Even though that stereotype has changed some over the years, it still holds true, and the modern woman still faces discrimination. Like other demographic...

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