Diversity and Inclusion Efforts That Really Work

free essayWith increasing globalization in the world, there is a need for thorough interaction among people from different backgrounds. Nowadays, people do not work in limited settings, but instead, they are trying to become a part of the global economy to challenge other countries’ frameworks. Due to that, companies need to diversify to make progress. Similarly, the managements of organizations need to familiarize themselves with the changes and evolution of the workplace. Diversity goes hand in hand with inclusion in an organization. Since managing diversity is become a challenge in the modern polyethnic society, the management should embrace a good work environment that is targeted at multicultural approaches to labor maintenance and division.

Dimensions of Cultural Diversity

There are various dimensions of cultural diversity. Hyde, Carpenter, & Conway (2013) argue that cultural diversity is composed of primary and secondary dimensions. Primary dimensions describe how people are identified in terms of race, gender, beliefs, and sexual orientation among others, and group individuals depending on their physical characteristics, nationality, and religion, whereby they are usually prejudiced by other cultural alliances. Secondary dimensions of diversity are the features that can be modified or changed over time based on the decision that one makes freely. The examples of the secondary dimension include the socioeconomic status, political views, education, and other choices that are not obligatory.

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The Ethnic, Cultural, or Other Groups to Be Identified with and Their Similarities

Ethnically and culturally, I identify myself with the people of the African-American background. There are certain beliefs that have a propensity of picturing black African Americans negatively, as criminal or bad-tempered people. Traditionally, the media also appear to portray or associate the ill-natured things with the colored people only. It is very rare to hear media associating black people with good deeds and positive achievements. Despite, the contemporary tendency for tolerance and antiracism, as a black American, I experience these biases on a daily basis. When I was young, understanding the detrimental consequences of such attitude, I interacted with people of different races and cultural backgrounds intentionally. This interaction helped me a lot, since I came to realize that we share many predicaments in that we always face prejudice and stereotypes because of the color of our skin. Moreover, we are also referred to as the minority group, which sounds disrespectful to me.

Another ethnicity that bears a similar sociocultural status is Latino Americans or Hispanic. Some of the aspects that are common among the people of my social circle and them is the way we live and the environment we have grown up in. After relating with them, I have discovered that we prefer the same types of cars, similar clothing as well as share common tastes in food. Due to this commonality, we have developed a good interaction and association with each other which, unlike the case with the white Americans, make it easier for us to co-exist in the same society.

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Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity means the presence of people who represent more than one nationality, religion, color, sexual orientation, or a socioeconomic stratum in one country, community, or work setting. According to Verna Myers, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance” (2012). In other words, diversity is concerned with the quantity while inclusion is concerned with quality. Although inclusion cannot be experienced without diversity, acceptance and respect for a particular ethnic group cannot be exercised through words only. Actions are necessary to support them. “We cannot correct racism by ignoring race” (Myers, 2012). For example, if people in the world were the same in terms of characteristics like race and gender, then exclusion would not be experienced since people would think and act the same (Hyde, Carpenter, & Conway, 2013). Due to that, when diversity increases it becomes difficult to include all participants.

Importance of Diversity Training in the Workplace

Diversity training in the workplace is important in many ways. To start with, it helps people to practice inclusion in their work settings. When people are trained, they learn to value the feelings of other people, especially women and disabled, and also desist from harassing them. As a result, many women are able to access the highly-paid positions (Hiranandani, 2012).

Diversity training can help to improve the performance of employees through creating a conducive environment in an organization that does not condone the stereotypes and judgment. Although employees may come from different cultural backgrounds, training will help them to respect each other’s culture as well as recognize undesirable behaviors that could deteriorate their relationship and avoid these. In addition, it may assist employees in understanding cultural uniqueness of their colleagues and will encourage interaction between them and even lead to solving work issues and even their own conflicts (Hyde, Carpenter, & Conway, 2013).

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According to Hiranandani, (2012), diversity training also facilitates the employees’ adaptation to various changes as well as differences they encounter when working with people from other cultures. Working with someone different helps people to open their mind, embrace new ideas and develop good interpersonal relationships. Moreover, the workers can face the challenges with ease since they are taught how to deal with unusual ideas.

Furthermore, diversity training nurtures improved knowledge with regard to how people from diverse cultures communicate and interact with each other. In addition to that, it enhances foreign languages that is necessary for running today’s business (Hiranandani, 2012). For example, it is crucial for the company that serves people across the world to understand phrases in different languages in order to make the international clients feel comfortable hence ensuring their return. Also, one needs to be aware of signs that are used in other cultures and may bear meanings different to their own.

How It Works

My Experience with Workplace Culture

I happened to work for two companies where I had a chance to experience diverse cultures. The first company was a pharmaceutical firm where I was assigned the role of supervision. This organization did not have inclusivity in its departments. I witnessed a situation in which most of the junior workers were subjected to harsh rules in that they could not go for lunch or breakfast together. In addition, there was a strict management policy and the senior staffs would not listen to the opinions of the employees. Although there still was diversity in the company since the employees were from various cultural backgrounds, they were not given permission to interact well.

Another company that I worked in was a research organization. The company was able to ensure and encouraged inclusion regardless of rich cultural diversity. Evidently, upon visiting various departments, one could notice that the employees come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. In addition to that, the company would organize several training sessions related to diversity with an aim of bringing people together and improving their skills and boost cooperation. There were some departments where workers were predominantly male but this did not hinder them from interacting with female workers from their and other departments and also working together as a team. During lunchtime, employees would go to lunch, communicate, and interact freely. Moreover, in the end of the year, all workers were rewarded as an appreciation for their good team work. In my view, this company has all the characteristics that define a good workplace where diversity and inclusivity are equality attended and respected.

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In conclusion, the combination of diversity and inclusion reflect a changing world and ever growing marketplace. There are various dimensions of cultural diversity that make people separate themselves into different groups and even prejudice against each other. Diversity and inclusion cannot be ignored since they go hand in hand and hence, any organizations needs to train its employees on how to coexist together productively. Workplace diversity training nurtures and gives people knowledge on cultural identity, creates a conducive work environment, and improves employee performance among other benefits. Therefore, employees and the company at large need to adapt and become more open-minded to diverse cultures which represent people from across the world. More importantly, the company should employ people from various cultures to sustain the flow of fresh ideas and improve the motivation of the local workers.

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