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Diversity In The Workplace, Article Review

982 words - 4 pages


David J Sample

A review of Beryl Nelson’s article “The Data of Diversity”. This article examines the points Nelson made on the benefits of diversity and some of its challenges and critiques the quality of her data and relevance of the article.

Review of the “Data of Diversity”
This paper is intended to review Beryl Nelson’s article “The Data of Diversity” which was recently published in the academic journal, Communications for the Association of Computing Machinery. (2014) Nelson has spent the last 6 years working for one of the most diverse ...view middle of the document...

87). In addition, Nelson examined a study performed by A.W. Woolly and T.W. Malone on the collective intelligence of groups (3-5 persons) that included women vs groups that did not include women. Nelson found that there was a trend towards groups with a higher percentage of women having better problem solving and innovation and concluded that a large diversity in the sex of group results in increased innovation.
Challenges Faced by Diversity
Nelson did not claim that all diversity is easy or effective though. In her article she asserts that for diverse teams to be effective they may have to overcome negative effects. She lists the negative effects as “unconscious bias, stereotype threat, exclusion from critical social networks, lack of role models and unaware managers” (Nelson, 2014). While the last three negative effects may be readily recognizable, the first two are not. The idea of unconscious bias is the principle that the brain, in an attempt to create shortcuts and process data, turns experiences into a background bias that helps quickly categorize people, events, and places. Unfortunately, Nelson asserts, in a team setting this categorizing causes people to form a bias about others; even though they might adamantly claim the opposite. Teams must build new positive experiences to re-learn an unconscious positive bias. The other often unrecognized negative effect that teams may have to overcome is a stereotype threat. A stereotype threat is a mental hurdle for the individual where they believe that they will not do well because of a stereotype they possess and consequently they lack confidence. Nelson stresses that the lack of self-confidence causes a negative impact on performance, a widely accepted idea. She states that diverse teams can work against this by increasing trust and using positive, engaging feedback.
Nelson’s Conclusion
Many other authors have argued the “fairness” of diversity in the workplace and the ethical reasons for diversity...

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