Gwenzetta M. Carter
Hum 6500/ Dr. Goldstein
University of the Rockies
The United States is comprised of many races, cultures, religions and ethnicities. The difference of these groups has led to an increase in conflict. Diversity consciousness seeks to resolve this conflict by recognizing, understanding and adapting to the differences (Bucher, pg 1, 2010). Diversity Management within an organization or business focuses on differences in the workplace and the way that those differences affect the workplace experience of an individual in terms of performance, motivation, communication and inclusion. In this paper the ways that differences can be managed in the workplace to ensure the success of the individual employee, the team and the organization as a whole, will be examined.
Managing Diversity in the Workplace
Organizations deal with diversity related conflicts and issues on a regular basis due to differences relating to age, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion and social class and more. Our learned behaviors are a major reason for the conflict. The way that an organization manages the conflict resulting from these differences can dictate the future failure or the future success of that company.
Although great strides are being taken toward achieving diversity consciousness, many companies are still recovering from the negative impacts of discrimination due to not reevaluating and revising policies to provide inclusion to a rapidly changing cultural landscape. For example, in 2005, Abercrombie & Fitch were demanded to pay $50 million dollars to class members comprised of women, African Americans, Asians and Latinos, due to a discrimination lawsuit. They were also required to revise their policies and programs to foster diversity within their workforce and inclusion of women and minorities (Alvarez, 2005). Many other companies have been forced to pay out settlements and legal fees at a high rate due to similar accusations of discrimination. As a result, companies are now realizing the importance of inclusion and diversity consciousness. They are investing considerable amounts of revenue into diversity awareness programs, hiring diversity managers to facilitate and resolve conflicts and taking a closer look at exclusive, outdated policies to ensure that all are treated fairly.