Today's workplace is more diverse than it has ever been in history. While the workforce has made strides in the direction of equality, it is still far from attaining total equality in the workplace. A company must value diversity. The main objectives of valuing diversity include awareness, education, and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workforce. Organizations are increasingly emphasizing group work or teamwork as a source of competitive advantage in a diverse workforce. It has been suggested that such organizations must target their recruitment efforts at applicants who are both diverse and amenable to working in teams ( Rau, Hyland 2003).
A cultural environment must allow differences to be celebrated instead of merely tolerated. All employees must understand the competitive and moral advantages of diversity. They must respect and support cultural diversity through the recognition of cultural and religious holidays, observances, practices, and diet restrictions. We are not where we once were, but we are not yet where we should be. In an ideal world, every person is treated equally when it comes to receiving a job, advancing in their career, and being treated fairly in the workplace. In reality, we know this is not the case. Unfortunately our reality is unfair treatment in regards to an individual's gender, race, culture, ethnic origin and lifestyle. These discriminations still exist in salary decisions, hiring, firing, and promotions.
In order to effectively manage diversity, and recognize it as a source of strength and not one of conflict, one would need to be educated and reprogrammed to accept and embrace diversity. Society as a whole is programmed to embrace sameness and frown upon assortment. Managers and the powers that be must be taught to appreciate and draw on differences because unfortunately it does not come naturally for most people. America's past should teach America's today that success lies within diversity. In order to achieve ultimate success, diversity is a necessity. Workforce diversity is a fact of organizational life. It is also a key concern for theory and practice in organizational behavior ( van-Knippenberg, De-Dreu, Homan, 2004).
Diversity is important to companies because with a diverse environment people can benefit and learn from others' ideas. Other reasons for the importance of diversity to many organizations are the recognition of differences as prerequisites for high performance and continuous improvement, enhancing the effectiveness and creativity of the organization, and valuing conflicts as opportunities for more effective decision-making and problem solving. Diversity has a major impact on our behaviors in the work place.
Many organizations are placing primary emphasis on people who fit their cultures when hiring. The reasoning is that if the people have the "right" attitude, they will more than likely understand and adapt to...