Diversity can be defined in one word as inclusiveness. In workplaces, the inclusion of all who can add value to the job irrespective of their gender, race, color, age, or religion, can be called diversity. However, with changing time, this definition seems limited in scope. The need to include work styles, attributes, behavioral differences, and talents within the perimeter of diversity has been stressed by many scholars (Smith 1).
The new definition of diversity includes all the differences of human beings and broadens its scope. Hence, workplace diversity can now be defined as all employees who “bring unique perspectives or outlooks to the organization” (Shackelford 53). Hence, diversity is inclusiveness of character as it incorporates the traditional categories such as gender and race as well as the nascent non-traditional categories such as thought, talent, and so on. Therefore, the new definition of diversity is not constrained to sexism and racism. Instead, the managers have broadened the definition by amplifying the scope of diversity that embraces abstract differences in human character and behavior.
Types of Diversity in the Workplace
Traditionally, diversity was differentiated by age, color, race, gender, and religion. Thus, no one should be discriminated because of his or her religion, race, color, age, or gender. However, as the scope of the definition of workplace diversity has broadened, the different kinds of diversity have automatically increased. At present, kinds of diversity are based on two broad styles – traditional and non-traditional. The first encompasses the difference attributable to one’s age, gender, race, color, religion, and ethnicity. The second consists of abstract notions such as thought, talent, culture, behavior, work style, etc. Hence, with the broadening of the definition of diversity, the types of diversity have also increased.
The Importance of Diversity
Diversity is important to an organization as this ensures greater spread of knowledge and understanding of the organization as well as enrichment of the company’s culture (Neault and Mondair 74). Diversity brings in confidence and change within the organization that may help in transformation of the business (Neault and Mondair 74). It is important and beneficial to the employees and employers alike.
It is critical to embrace diversity as it brings varied knowledge and perspective that widens the vision of the company. First, companies may face legal challenge if they do not embrace diversity on grounds of discrimination, which is illegal. Second, it is important to diversify as it enhances the company’s reputation. All companies are diversifying today. It increases the credibility of the company (Fiandaca par. 1).
This is because the companies want to paint a positive, tolerant picture to their customers. Hence, diversity gives a competitive edge to the companies. In order to remain competitive, companies embrace diversity. Third, a diverse workforce will attract a varied customer base. A large customer base will be beneficial to the company and hence diversity helps in the company’s business. Fourth, discrimination against anyone is ethically and morally wrong.
Hence, inclusive workforce eliminates the possibility of discrimination by the company. Inclusiveness also ensures that the company is fair and ethical in its conduct and hiring process. Thus, diversity is important to the development of the organization and ensures ethical conduct. Ethics is important; workplace ethics is even more important today as it ensures the proper functioning of the organization. Further, diversity enhances mutual respect among employees who become more tolerant of diffidence in ideas and appearances.
The Positive Impacts of Diversity on a Business
Diversity is believed to benefit the business by meeting customer needs and enriches the company’s understanding of the market as diverse employees bring diverse information and knowledge with them (Herring 208). Further, it helps to enrich the workplace and culture by broadening the perspective of the organization. Moreover, people from different and varying backgrounds bring their strengths to the teams offering greater “resource for problem solution” (Herring 208).
However, the benefit of diversity goes beyond problem solving and workplace. Diversity creates positive consumer perception that helps give a positive image to the company (Herring 210). As services that require extensive consumer employee relation, the former greatly influences diversity (210). Moreover, cultural diversity may bring diverse knowledge and competitiveness within the firm. Research findings suggest that different workers coming from varied backgrounds can produce a better result in comparison to homogeneous employees (Herring 210).
Are Diversity Hires Getting More Jobs?
Diversity increases the talent pool from which one may choose their requirements. Managers prefer to diversify their choice of candidates for a specific job as it helps them to find the right person for the job. Diversity hires are more in demand as they bring greater value to the workforce. For example, a woman candidate will apply for a particular job if her qualification and experience is a hundred percent match to the requirement (Fiandaca par. 4).
On the other hand, a male candidate will apply if he fulfills only sixty percent of the criterion (Fiandaca par. 4). This shows that a female candidate will bring greater value of ethical conduct and truthfulness in the organization and hence are in greater demand. Further, organizations want to diversify and so are eager to embrace people from different background as they expand the perspective of the business. This is why many organizations are looking for female leaders in order to change the perspective of the organization (Holloway 80).
Fiandaca, Daniele. 2016, “Diversity at work: hiring ‘the best person for the job’ isn’t enough.” The Guardian. Web.
Herring, Cedric. “Does diversity pay?: Race, gender, and the business case for diversity.” American Sociological Review 74.2 (2009): 208-224. Print.
Holloway, Andy. “Women Wanted.” Canadian Business 82.10 (2009): 80. Academic Search Premier. Web.
Neault, Roberta A. and Suneet Mondair. “Supporting Workplace Diversity: Emerging Roles for Employment Counselors.” Journal of Employment Counseling 48.2 (2011): 72-80. Print.
Shackelford, William G. “The Changing Definition of Workplace Diversity.” Black Collegian 33.2 (2003): 53-58. Academic Search Premier. Web.
Smith, J. Goosby. “Twenty Questions for Chief Diversity Officers.” Diversity Factor 17.4 (2009): 1-8. Academic Search Premier. Web.