Workplace Diversity Essay

1257 words - 5 pages

In search of an article on workplace diversity, it was surprising to come across an article that read; Over the past few years, such corporate giants as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., General Electric Co., Fannie Mae, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have pulled out all the stops to embrace diversity at every level of their organizations. Yet despite these efforts, only 11% of Fortune 500 companies have women on their boards, and a mere 4% have minority representation. The consensus is that, although opportunities for minorities and women in the workplace have increased substantially, they still face many barriers to career advancement.The expanded definition of diversity has not helped. "Women and minorities are no longer the sole focus," says Lisbeth Claus, professor of human-resource management at the Fisher Graduate School of International Business in Monterey, California. "Workplace diversity now goes beyond gender and race to include age, disabilities, family structure, sexual orientation, ethnic culture and religious affiliation (The Wall Street Journal, 2002)." Knowing that it is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of any of the above, in regards to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. It is still a normal practice in the United States, knowing that discremenation is the leading cause for workplace conflict.The author agrees, that, discrimination leads to worplace conflict. It is absolutly necessary to understand that today more than ever cultural diversity is an important fact of life and business, due to the changing face of society, and therefore, the workplace. It is growing ever more essential for people to interact with others outside of their racial, ethical, religious, regional, and social boundaries. To stay on top of competitors, especially in the 21st century and going forward, companies must change their approach, and see diversity not as a necessary evil or a mere threat, but as a source of enrichment and opportunity that may bring a wealth of benefits to the company.In an examination of the U.S. workplace (companies) and specifically looking at management positions, it is clearly evident that minorities are "under" represented. The reasons behind this seem to vary depending on which point of view it is looked at. Some argue that minorities "have not been in the labor pool long enough to work [their way] up". It is ridiculous to believe this, because there are plenty of qualified minorities for any of those jobs. Others argue "minority employees do not know the rules that allow one to 'win' in the corporate 'game'" (jalmc, 2002). If this is true, then what is keeping them from learning these "rules" and what can be done to teach them?It is the author's personal experience that there is an inherit distrust on the part of today's managers (typically white males who grew up with little exposure to people...

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