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Value of Diversity

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Value of Diversity at the Workplace

University of Phoenix

Diversity is a word used most often to describe the different types of race, religion, and nationalities but in today's business world, it is used to explain the special individual behaviors of workers. Diversity is about individuality and demographics that differ from person to person and how they influence person behavior. To appreciate how diversity impacts the work place one should be able to identify skill and abilities, Values and attitudes, and have an open mind about Age and gender.

Skills and knowledge are imperative considerations for a manager when choosing to hire a person. There are various tests to measure mental aptitudes and abilities. Some of these provide an overall intelligent quotient (IQ) score. Others provide measures of more specific competencies of people entering various educational programs or career field. Such tests are designed to facilitate the screening and selection of applicants for educational programs or jobs. Some jobs, such as firefighters and police, require tests for physical abilities. Muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance are two of many physical ability dimensions. For instance, one of the requirements for joining the military is that you have to take and pass the ASVAT exam. It is important to do your best because if you are just trying to pass the exam you may not like the kind of job that you will be doing while serving the Armed Forces. The better your score the better job and option on what you can do while in the service. Aptitude and Ability are important considerations for a manager when initially hiring or selecting candidates for a job. Aptitude refers to a person’s ability of learning something, whereas ability refers to a person’s existing capacity to carry out the various tasks needed for a given job and includes both applicable knowledge and skills. Both mental and physical aptitudes and abilities are used in matching individuals to organizations and jobs.

Sometimes the outcome of diversity seems positive, at the other times negative, and in other situations, there may be no effect at all. Companies are being challenged to understand and deal with the linguistic and cultural requirements of a diverse workforce. Diversity can be a positive trait of a company or it may cause workplace conflicts and adversity. “If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place” (Mead).

Women since the early stage of life as a weak link and though not too many women considered themselves weak not many stood up for what was right. Research on working women in general tells us that there are very few differences between men and women that affect job performance. Thus, men and women show no consistent differences in their problem-solving skills, competitive drive, motivation, learning ability, or sociability. Women are reported to be more conforming and to have lower expectations of success than men do. And women’s absenteeism rates tend to be higher than those of men. This latter may change, as we begin to see men play a more active role in raising children. In respect to pay, women’s earnings have risen slowly from 59 percent of men’s in 1975 to 76 percent more recently. This rise is not consistent with the large increase of women in the labor force since 1970. An example of diversity in my organization is age. The age ranges are from 20-55 years of age. Age pretty often becomes a problem where I work because a person is repeatedly stereotyped. Management often thinks that because a person is young that he or she is not reliable. They think that he or she will call in a great deal, be tardy or just have an immature attitude about work. Management assumes that the older a person is the more mature and dependable they will be. This is one of the reasons why I believe management has to look beyond the stereotypes and allow everyone and equal chances before assumptions are made. There are those who believe that an older person can be a hazard to an organization. The pace of an older person can differ from that of a younger person. There may be other factors that can cause an older person not to perform as well such as hearing and vision. The organization may have to accommodate these types of needs. This is not a problem to me but I can’t help but overhear how some workers wish some of their coworkers would stop asking for special needs. Managing diversity also means taking a more strategic approach, by building on best practice, fostering leaderships around equality, promoting cultural change, and improving user involvement and community engagement.

Reference:

Mead, M (2009). Diversity Quotes. Retrieved January 26, 2009, from Diversity Quotes Web site: http://www.wisdomquotes.com/cat_diversity.html

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