Managing Diversity in the Workplace
Cultural Diversity In The Workplace Essay is becoming more and more prevalent. Corporations in all industries are encouraging minorities, women, elderly workers, people with disabilities as well as foreign workers to join white males in the workplace. The following analysis will focus on these groups and how companies are encouraging them to join an ever-expanding workplace.
Even if affirmative action is dismantled, diversity of the workforce is clearly here to stay. Business owners and managers, experts say, will still need to maintain or step up efforts to recruit and advance ethnic minorities in the year 2000 and beyond.
That’s essentially because having a diverse work force and managing it effectively will simply be good business for various companies.
One business leader who is at the forefront of implementing diversity is the Xerox Corporation. Xerox implemented their strategy for diversification through an “aggressive, hard driving affirmative action plan.” (Managing Diversity: Lessons from Private Sector, AOL Electric Library).
The company has been successful in grasping Diversity by instilling it in it’s organizational culture and making it management priority. Xerox Corporation has taken on the imperative responsibility to implement plans that ensure a true representation of the community in which they are based and upholding a true picture of the globally based customers they serve.
Their strategy is one that sets goals to recruit and retain minorities for previously restricted positions and hold management accountable for reaching those goals. It is an approach which has worked well for the organization. Because they are truly committed to tapping into the expanded creativity minorities bring, Xerox has moved from the mandatory focus of Affirmative action programs to the voluntary implementation of a business objective.
According to John Fernandez, author of the book “Managing a Diverse Work Force”, white males would make up only fifteen percent of the net additions to the labor force between 1985 and 2000. White males were already in the minority, representing only forty-five percent of America’s 115 million workers in 1985.
Other facts and figures also support the above mentioned trend.
This is pointed out by The Career Exposure Network, a premier on-line career center and job placement service. According to the Network:
Through the 1990’s, people of color, women and immigrants will account for 85% of the net growth of the nation’s labor force.
By 2000, women will be 47% of the labor force
Over the next 20 years the U.S. population will grow by 42 million. Hispanics will account for 47% of the growth, Blacks22%, Asians18% and Whites13%.
Miami is 2/3 Hispanics.
San Francisco is 1/3 Asian American.
A more recent survey suggests that smaller businesses have been more successful than larger ones in promoting ethnic minorities into upper management. The study shows that in businesses with fewer than 500 employees, twenty percent of the senior managers are minorities, as compared with about 13 percent for businesses with five hundred or more employees (Thiederman, 162). The reason probably lies in the fact that the highest net increase of small businesses since the early 1990’s have been minority owned. The number of Hispanic-owned business has grown 76% since the early 90’s proceeded by Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives which grew 61% (Nickels, McHugh, McHugh, 4).
Naturally, minority-owned businesses are more opt to promote their own into managerial positions. Either because the business is family owned or they have a limited labor pool of applicants.
Managing diversity goes ‘far beyond’ meeting the legal requirements of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Whereas Affirmative action is based on mandatory compliance regulations designed to bring the level of representation for minority groups into parity, diversity initiatives within organizations are voluntary in nature. It takes Affirmative action a step further. Organizations that incorporate diversity initiatives as a part of their organizational objectives will be the most prepared they will be to meet the challenges of the next millenium.
Whereas Affirmative Action focuses on including those on the basis of race, gender, and/or ethnicity, Diversity initiatives, when well implemented, focuses on all elements of diversity. Management must embrace the inclusion of employees not only with regard to obvious differences of race, sex, and age but also without regard to such .