Value of Diversity in the Workplace


Workplace diversity is a concept that is widely gaining popularity among business organization and work places. It explains the degree to which a business entity is culturally diverse. It deals with the various ways the organization identifies and treats its employees in relation to gender, race, sex, age and ethnicity. In most workplaces, employment is based on various discriminatory factors that segregate employees on bases of colour, gender and race (Day, C. 2001. p. 59).

A business organization that contains a diverse workforce is well equipped to prosper in a market place than a company with a limited category of employees.

Importance of workforce diversity to a company

Business managers should integrate employees from diverse backgrounds without considering their gender, ethnicity or racial discriminations. Companies should change their organization’s culture so as to allow diversity of their workforce to pave way to cultural diversity. Cultural diversity assists a company to enhance its human resources and hence increasing organizational effectiveness. Research has shown that those companies that have adopted the concept of workforce diversity, employment is done on merit commensurate with academic and professional qualification. These companies enjoy a pool of talented employees. The decision making body comprise of experts with varied talents from various backgrounds and hence better decisions are made. The companies have enhanced problem solving techniques coupled with high level of creativity that results to innovations and inventions. Due to their workforce diversity, they are also able to diversify their products through improved product development. This is realized through individual talents and capability differences brought in the company. Their cultural diversity assists them capture a wide range of market by reaching out to many types of customers on basis of ethnicity and gender. A company that embraces the concept of diversity in its work force acknowledges the fact that the marketplace constitutes of people from all races, sex orientations, age affiliations and religion. It is therefore important that the work force should be diverse. The company is therefore able to acquire, retain and satisfy a large number of customers. The consumers build loyalty to the company’s products by seeing their own self in the company through employees. Companies with diverse work force have good communication channels. Employees from diverse cultures perceive messages differently and hence a good communication system is important. Research have shown that companies of the same level that are able to attract employ and retain women and non- American males in their top management units are always productive and their returns are more than those companies dominated by American males in top level management. In the United States white males dominate the labour pool comprising 51% against women and minority group sharing the rest. The trend is gradually changing with the population decline. The companies that have already diverse workforce are able to attract more women and non-white in their labour force (Taylor, Wright & Porter, 1994, pp. 233-237).

Work place discrimination between men and women

Most large and medium companies are characterized by mass discrimination of employees on the basis of race and gender. In these organizations the percentage of women and non-whites in top and middle level managerial positions is very little. These positions are almost a reserve for white males. Women and non-white males are considered inferior and without capabilities required to lead. This is a fallacy that has made most United States based companies loose huge sums of money due to management incompetence. Women and minority have suffered a great deal. They have always been employed in low-level and very junior staff positions. They are usually the first target in job cuts during company reorganization process. The management often looses focus while downsizing the workforce in rendering women and people of colour redundant. This practice has occurred in various United States large companies. Such a case happened at Dial Corporation between the years 1990-1991 where job cut for African Americans constituted two- thirds of the total job cut. A similar case occurred at Pet Inc. Company where 35% of those who were rendered jobless were blacks. This rate was about three times overall job loss. The work-force diversity guidelines were not used while downsizing (Faye, R.1994. pp. 31-34).

Resolving the challenge of discrimination in work places

The overall repercussion to this behavior was that the two companies lost customers and had to close all the branches in areas that had a sizeable number of black workers. If the management of the two companies had embraced the concept of work-force diversity the survival of the affected facilities could have been enhanced. The downsizing of the labour force would have been done fairly and on merit targeting everybody in the organization on the basis of qualification and expertise. The down sizing was aimed at cutting labour costs so as to increase the company’s profit margin. The closure of the facilities resulted to great losses and further loss of jobs as well as market for their products. The company management must be able to balance and manage diversity both in short term and long term for the benefit of growth and development of the company. To properly deal with the challenge of prejudice during downsizing the company is supposed to have in place a well laid down procedure on how it has to be carried out, and what percentage of women and non- white males to be maintained at all levels in the company. Those to leave or to be left would be purely on performance and not on procedure. Downsizing should be done at departmental levels with consideration of the value of the worker without colour or gender discrimination (Konrad & Linnehan, 1995, pp. 409-411).


It is evident that the importance of workforce diversity in any organization is paramount. The management must be willing to embrace this concept if it has to effectively compete on international standards. The upper management and the entire workforce must be well educated on inclusion initiative and regulations pertaining employment through a series of seminars in order to effectively administer justice to their employees and increase worker productivity. The organization must concentrate on changing its environment so as to address the problems associated with the process of recruitment women and minority and integrating them in high level positions as well as retaining diversity. For a company to attract, recruit and retain a good workforce, it must develop working environment that recognizes and respect employee personal differences and needs. The employee feels respected, recognized and required in the organization. This dispels fear of uncertainties and feeling of inferiority. This in effect motivates the worker resulting to job satisfaction (Rice, Faye, Sookdeo, Ricardo & Fortune 1994. pp. 81-84).

Reference List

Day, C. (2001) “Retelling the story of affirmative action: Reflections on a decade of federal jurisprudence in the public workplace,” California Law Review, Vol. 89,

Faye, R. (1994), how to make diversity pay. Vol. 130, Issue 3. 00158259,

Konrad A. & Linnehan, F. (1995), “Race and sex differences in line managers’ reactions to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action interventions, ” Group and Organization Management, Vol. 20 pp. 409-411.

Taylor, M. Wright C & Porter, E. (1994), “Dimensions of perceived discrimination: The personal/group discrimination discrepancy.” In M.P. Zanna and J. M. Olson, eds. The Psychology of Prejudice: The Ontario

Symposium, Vol. 7 (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum), pp. 233-237.

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