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Diversity: Does It Really Matter at the Workplace?

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Presentation on theme: "Diversity: Does It Really Matter at the Workplace?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Diversity: Does It Really Matter at the Workplace?

2 Topics To Be Covered Historical Perspective of Diversity at the Workplace The Impact of Legislation Evolution of Diversity Potential Barriers to Diversity Benefits of Diversity Managing Diversity at the Workplace References Contact Information

3 Historical Perspective of Diversity at the Workplace During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the US took its first steps towards promoting diversity in the workplace. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity – To end discrimination in employment by the government and its contractors The Civil Rights Act of 1964 went further, prohibiting discrimination in any federal program or activity 1971, the Nixon Administration took this one step further in revised order requiring contractors to develop an affirmative action program with goals and time tables Source:wwwprofessionalpractice.asme.org

4 The Impact of this Legislation Legal mandates had little effect on attitudes, behaviors or on subtle discrimination Organizational human resource efforts improved, however, the behavior of individual employees often did not change Evidence suggested that management had to take a more sustained approach in order to realize the true benefits of diversity In the 1980’s, it became apparent that diversity needed to be valued as a business attribute Training and awareness focused on employee attitudes, as businesses and government agencies tried to raise awareness and sensitivity to diversity issues

5 The Evolution of Workplace Diversity PRACTICEFOCUSDRIVERBENEFITSFOUNDATION Affirmative Action (Remedial) Equal Opportunity Laws Targeted groups Assimilation model Valuing Diversity Appreciation of Differences EthicsAll Employees Diversity Model Managing Diversity Building skills and changing Policies Corporate Strategy Organization and all Employees Synergy Model

6 Six Factors that Influence Diversity in the Workplace Demographic changes Global Marketplace Economics Comfort with Being Different A Diverse Customer base EEO / AAP Source –

7 Six Organizational Barriers which are Most Likely to Inhibit the Advancement of Diverse Groups Negative Attitudes and Discomfort with Diverse Groups Discrimination Prejudice Stereotyping Racism Bias Source –

8 Benefits of Diversity “The diversity debate has shifted from the moral obligation of affirmative action to a business imperative. CEOs, faced with intense competition in global markets, record numbers of mergers and acquisitions, and the global war for talent, are focusing on how to leverage diversity as their competitive differentiator.” Dr. Vanessa J. Weaver, Business Week

9 Improved Sales, Market Share and Profits: Examples of improved sales Petro-Canada’s site in Vancouver’s Chinese community, for example, posted signs in English and Mandarin to increase their presence in the community – This resulted in sales increases of 15%. Sales went from 2.7million liters of gasoline in 1994 to 3.1 million liters by ’ Reebook listened to a group of women in Reebook about not having a quality show for aerobics – Within two years of creating this new line of footwear Reebok went from 12million a year to 3 billion in sales. Source -

10 Improved Retention, Recruitment and Promotion Increased diversity makes it easier to recruit and retain diverse candidates Satisfied employees help reduce low productivity, high turnover or absenteeism Diversity Promotion programs help attract new talent and help individuals get into leadership tracks

11 The High Cost of Litigation and Liability Diversity initiatives are safe guards against liability (Front end –Implemented Policies and Programs) – Exxon Chemical initiated a Diversity Pioneers program that implemented a new process for choosing first-line supervisors from the ranks of technicians and hourly employees Litigation on the back end can be even more costly, as it can spread into the courts but also to the, “court of public opinion (Backend - Subsequent Remedial Measures) –1996 Texaco agreed to allocate $ 35 million for a task force to implement changes to their HR programs after being sued for racial discrimination

12 Talent Shortage “In order to ensure that we are competitive with anyone in the global marketplace, we have to be sure we’re getting the best help we can. If you exclude any particular group, by gender race, or religion, you would be excluding the person who’s going to discover the next blockbuster product or someone who can contribute in another meaningful way in marketing, engineering or elsewhere.” Gene Tucker, Director of Equal Employment and Workforce Diversity in Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Division

13 Dynamic Demographics Data shows that people entering the workforce in the next twenty years will be more diverse than the current workforce –By 2006 the average age of the workforce will be 40.5 up from 34.7 in 1979 –The fastest growing segment of the population will be Asian Americans (40.1% increase) and Hispanics ( 36.4% increase) due to immigration –Women are expected to make up 48 percent of the workforce and 58% of our college graduates Source -

14 Recommendations to Manage Diversity Training and education programs Organizational policies that mandate fairness and equity for all employees Mentoring programs Performance appraisal systems that are nondiscriminatory Outreach programs Career development programs Sourcewww.profesionalpractice.asme.orgwww.profesionalpractice.asme.org


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