Workplace Diversity Linda Adea



PalmBeach State College


Diversityat workplace is essential as it seeks to integrate workers withdifferent skills. Businesses that adopt diversity allow employees toreason critically while respecting and acknowledging different norms,beliefs, and practices. The aim of the concepts is expanding skillsavailable in an organization, as well as suppress the worker’sweaknesses. Among the main forms of diversity businesses incorporateinclude religious, ethnicity, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientationand economic power. Several researchers assert that enterprises withdiverse staff composition tend to have higher economic growthcompared to organizations with homogenous employees. The presentbusiness diversification is different from the previous arrangementas the main motivation is expanding the skills and work approach inthe business. However, businesses were previously implementingdiversification to meet the requirements of the equal opportunityact. Studies indicate that the public sectors in developed nationssuch as the USA and the UK have completely embraced thediversification. However, the private sector has not managed to adoptdiversification flexibility effectively.


Workplacediversity entails hiring staff from different backgrounds such asrace, gender, and ethnicity. In the past, businesses incorporateddiversity to comply with the “equal employment act”, but modernbusinesses embrace diversity as a method of enhancing innovation.Several researchers have established that organizations that withstaff from different backgrounds often undergo faster developmentthan businesses that hire employees from one dominant group.Companies that embrace diversity allow employees to utilize theirknowledge and skills autonomously as they like while tapping capacityin order to achieve the best performance. Diversity aims at reformingworkplaces to produce flexible environment that is suitable forbrainstorming.

Businesssuccess and employees’ satisfaction is highly intertwined in thecontemporary business environment. As a result, contemporarybusinesses hire diversity managers that train employees on effectiveassociation with their colleagues. Algahtani (2013) asserts thatdiversity managers harmonize the work environment throughfamiliarizing the workers with the workplace rules and regulations.Successfully trained employees are capable of thinking criticallywhile embracing and respecting different norms, beliefs, andpractices. However, the managers do not restrict employees from usingtheir preferred working formula (Algahtani, 2013). The researchclaims that a diversified work environment suppresses employees’weaknesses as the staff has different talents allocated to theappropriate position. For example, individuals with goodinterpersonal skills are assigned to positions where they would havedirect contact with customers. On the other hand, physically strongindividuals are allocated in workstations that require extensivephysical work. Integration of miscellaneous skills enhances skillsand productivity of the employees that in turn contributes topositive economic development (Strachan et al., 2004).

Workplacediversity in the US originated in 1950s during the civil rights eraand women empowerment. Many enterprises hired employees from a givencommunity for given jobs. For example, the whites occupied theadministration, political and other major office jobs with attractiveremuneration (Whalen, 1991). On the other hand, the African AmericanAmericans and other colored races were assigned petty and tediousjobs such as tilling land, weeding, cleaning, nanny jobs, and guardsamong others. In 1964, the congress formed the “Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission” that ensured that prevented employers fromexcluding minority races (Woodruffe-Burton &amp Bairstow, 2013).

Accordingto Berry and Bell (2012), United States’ businesses had significantinequalities based on sexual orientation, race, stereotype, gender,disabilities, race and economic power. The researchers used healthaide workers in their study. They study found that many health aideworkers are colored women. Besides, the workers are underpaid unlessthey are white. The authors also illustrated gender inequality aswomen in the US are paid approximately 80% less than men are paiddespite that they have equal skills and work positions (Panaccio &ampWaxin, 2010). In 2009, women made over 50% of the workforce hence,discrimination was rampant. Oyler and Mildred (2009) associates thecivil rights and other activists’ unrelenting struggle to achievesuccess to their foresight on the detriment associated with workplaceinequality. In the article, the researchers assert that modernemployees and business managers are trained on diversity managementduring the early years in college (Oyler &amp Mildred, 2009). Theresearchers analyze education programs used in various universitiessuch as Colorado State University, University of California,University of Chicago and Duke University. Over 90% of Fortune 500companies prefer employees and managers that have acquired diversitytraining at university level to individuals that have no training ondiversification values. Goal setting is one of the key values ofdiversity-training programs (Colgan, 2011).

Formany years, sexual orientation has been another contentious subjectof discrimination. The lesbians, gays, transgender and bisexualpersons regularly face discrimination at workplaces. For example,religious institutions, such as Christian schools, cannot hireLGBT-oriented employees. According to Cogan (2011), the UK publicsector has embraced sexual orientation, but the private sector isgradually accepting the community. Similarly, the American publicsector has embraced diversity through policies such “Do not telland Do not ask” that prevents armed forces recruits from disclosingtheir sexual status. The “Equal employment acts” integrated inboth the United States and the Britain constitutions enhancesdiversity as they prevent both public and private employers fromdiscriminating against the LGBT persons (Woodruffe-Burton &ampBairstow, 2013). In the past, over 90% of the businesses practiced“zero tolerance” to any person whose sexual orientation was notstraight. Using a qualitative study conducted between 2004 and 2008,Cogan (2011) concludes that businesses are embracing diversitythrough recruiting employees irrespective of their sexualorientation. The United Kingdom and United States’ curriculum hasbeen revised to o provide relevant information on values of hiringdiversified staff, as well as strategies for dealing with peopleirrespective of their personal statuses (Berry, &amp Bell, 2012).

Achievingdiversity in the workplace can be a challenging task. Luckily, manyresearchers have developed programs tailored to provide employeeswith social and emotional intelligence they require for a healthydiversified system. Motivated employees can tolerate people withdifferent views, sexual orientation, ethnicity or culturaldifferences. Traditionally, managers considered monetary rewards asthe sole source of employees’ motivation (Oyler &amp Mildred,2009). However, employees can use alternative motivation techniquessuch as recognition, training, internal promotion and incentives forthe best performers. Employees learn to respect the multigenerationaldifferences among employees if the managers accord honor to excellentachievers through various incentives. Njoroge and Yazdanifard (2014)attributes emotional and multigenerational unintelligence withbusiness diversity hostility. This explains the reason employers areemphasizing on staff members who have diversification morals at thecollege and degree level (Njoroge &amp Yazdanifard, 2014).

Presently,workplace diversity is a one of the major management qualificationrequirement in the Fortune 500 companies. However, entrepreneurs havegradually embraced the culture after researchers discovered that itenhanced individual productivity and economic profitability in thebusiness. Previously, business viewed the practice as a token for theminority groups such as the disabled, women, colored people and theLGBT society as they were obliged by the equal employment act to hirepeople from diverse backgrounds (Njoroge &amp Yazdanifard, 2014).Luckily, vast research has identified diversity as a valuablecomponent in business management. The main forms of diversities thatbusinesses are embracing include sexual orientation, gender, race,disability and economic ability. Strict regulations that preventemployers from dismissing or failing to hire people identifying withany of the minority statuses listed above (Madera et al., 2014). Whenpeople with different culture, perspectives and religious beliefsamong other difference work in a given business, they complement eachother, thereby increasing individual strengths. For example, theIslam and Muslim faithful have allocated different days for worship.This implies that the business will still be in operation on therespective worship days, and religious holidays for both faiths sinceindividuals from either faith can substitute their colleagues(Woodruffe-Burton &amp Bairstow, 2013).

Asthe diversity gradually gains momentum, researchers have investigatedthe benefits of a business approach. One of the benefits includespooling diverse experience. Workers from different backgrounds bringculturally unique perceptions and experiences that contribute torapid business development as they harmonize the weaknesses of eachother. Second, diversity offers a suitable environment for personalgrowth as they are exposed to new perspectives, ideas and culturesthat improve their intellect. Spending time in a diverse workenvironment eliminates xenophobia and ethnocentrism barriers. Third,it improves communication skills as the employees learn to addresspeople from different backgrounds. The workers learn personal valuesthat other cultures embrace. For example, the Belgians and Americansare very sensitive to time (Colgan, 2011). They prefer timely dealsand warning if they would expect any inconveniences. Interacting withBelgians can help an entrepreneur learn on ethical expectations thatsuch customers would be interested to receive. Third, homogenousemployees can adopt cliques and monotonous social activities that maydiminish workplace motivation. A diversified staff introduces newethics and practices that can help to enhance the liveliness at theworkplace. In some cases, diversity can result in employees’profiling. Whalen (1991) asserts that firm size, and culturalethnicity and firm age determines the relationships of big Chinesebusinesses. The author found that Chinese traders have a tendency ofpurchasing from other Chinese businesses in international markets.Researchers associate the high trust for such businesses to limiteddiversity exposure (Whalen, 1991).

Insummary, the research supports the thesis, which claims thatdiversity aims at reforming workplaces to produce flexibleenvironment that is suitable for brainstorming. Furthermore, itenhances intercultural intelligence as individuals from diversebackgrounds share out their cultural values. Business relationshipsare based on trust. As employees and managers interact, theyunderstand the culture and values of other societies that in turneliminates xenophobia. Researchers also assert that diversityenhances staff motivation as individuals from different backgroundsbreak the monotony found in homogenous workplaces.


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