"The world is a big stage in which everyday people are acting to facilitate the successful embrace of diversity and inclusiveness in a world that often struggles to understand cultural differences. Cultural differences are not hindrances to progress but rather a necessary exploration that must take place in leading a global impact in the quest for human equality. There is no way to escape or ignore that diversity exists in the world. Overall, the search for knowledge, truth and a heightened awareness of self must also include a willingness to understand what divides and unites everyday people who are trying to exist in harmony with one another."
( Morgan, A.M, 2009)
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In creating this culture it is important that top management strongly support workplace diversity as a company goal and include diversity initiatives in their companies' business strategies. It has grown out of the need for organization to recognize the changing workforce and other social pressures that often result. (Aswathappa, K. 2006)
“Diversity is more than being politically correct; it is about fostering a culture that values individuals and their wide array of needs and contributions.” (Mondy, R. & Noe, R. 2006)
Diversity management is the process intended to create a positive, functional environment in which diversity is valued and used as a tool in management to maximize and strengthen an organisations goals, in such a way that productivity, morale and profit is maximised. Individual’s differences and similarities combined in such a way that management can create a competitive advantage in areas such as marketing, problem solving and resource acquisitions. (Ocholla, D. 2002 p.59; Sadri, G. & Tran, H. 2002 p.228; Swanson, D. 2002 p.257). Diversity management requires management to make an effort to facilitate the working relationships of its employees and build and organisational culture of tolerance, acceptance and embracing the diversity within the organisation.
‘Its hard to define what diversity is because everyone has an opinion’
(Working Woman Magazine, 2009)
Formally, diversity refers to the condition or quality of being different or unlike, a clear distinction; a variety, as defined within the Oxford Dictionary.
According to HR Focus ‘What is diversity? Not many workplaces know the answer’ (2008 p.8), effective outcomes of diversity management include; creating a work environment or culture that allows everyone to contribute all that they can to the organisation; leveraging differences and similarities in the workforce for the strategic advantage of the organisation; and enhancing the ability of the people from different backgrounds to work effectively together.
“They are tapping into skills not previously available in a company characterised by an homogenous workforce; enhancing company creativity and problem-solving; responding quickly and effectively to diverse markets and managing productive relationships with diverse customers, suppliers and distributors; promoting a culture of inclusivity and problem solving; critical to commitment to total quality; enhancing team performance; and attracting and retaining the best talent especially amongst those representing new customer markets.” (Ocholla, N 2002 p.67).
Why is diversity management important?
Historically, diversity in the workplace has been recognized as an employment equity issue. Now, however, diversity in the workplace is being recognized as a benefit that will contribute to an organization’s bottom line. It is a broader term, which refers to a variety of interventions aimed at overcoming the potential costs of workplace differences so...