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Valuing Work Force Diversity

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1 Valuing Work Force Diversity
Chapter Fifteen Valuing Work Force Diversity

2 Chapter Preview: Valuing Work Force Diversity
Primary and secondary dimensions of diversity Formation of prejudiced attitudes Discrimination in the workplace Organizational cultures that value diversity Individual and organizational enhancement of diversity Affirmative action programs

3 Work Force Diversity – A Definition
The U.S. is a kaleidoscope of the world’s cultures American work force is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, increasingly female and older Focus today is on valuing diversity

4 Figure 15.1 - Foreign-Born Population Trend

5 Dimensions of Diversity
Primary dimensions are core characteristics of each individual that cannot be changed Age Race Gender Physical and mental abilities Forms the individual’s self-image and the filters through which each individual views the world

6 Secondary Dimensions of Diversity
Elements that can be changed or modified Health habits Religious beliefs Education/training Appearance Relationship status Ethnic customs Communication style Income

7 Figure 15.2 - Primary and Secondary Dimensions of Diversity

8 The Dimensions of Diversity
They add depth to the individuals and shape values, priorities and perceptions Building effective human relationships is possible only when we value and accept these differences Without acceptance, both dimensions of diversity can become roadblocks to further cooperation and understanding

9 Prejudiced Attitudes Prejudice is a premature judgment or an opinion that is formed without examination of the facts Often based on primary or secondary dimensions Prejudiced people tend to think in terms of stereotypes Generalizations made about all members of a particular group

10 Total Person Insight No matter who you are, you’re going to have to work with people who are different from you. You’re going to have to sell to people who are different from you, and buy from people who are different from you, and manage people who are different from you. J.T. “Ted” Childs, Jr. Vice President, IBM Global Workforce Diversity

11 Prejudiced Attitudes Most common and powerful stereotypes focus on observable attributes Age Gender Ethnicity Stereotypes are likely to change when we learn more about specific members of a group

12 Figure 15.3 - Declaration of Tolerance

13 How Prejudiced Attitudes Are Formed and Maintained
Major factors that contribute to formation of prejudice: Childhood experiences Ethnocentrism Economic factors

14 Childhood Experiences
Children learn attitudes and beliefs from family, friends, and other authority figures They learn how to view and treat different racial, ethnic, religious, and other groups Prejudices can be unlearned later in life

15 Total Person Insight To bring Chinese music to an African American church, it means that when we leave Chinatown we are promoting our culture. If we stay in Chinatown, we’re only preserving it. If you’re going to promote cultural understanding, it has to be to all people of all walks of life. Sheryln Chew Creator, The Purple Bamboo Orchestra

16 Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is the tendency to regard our own culture or nation as better or more correct than others The standards or values of one culture are being used as a standard to measure the worth of other cultures Ethnicity refers to condition of being culturally rather than physically distinctive Iceberg analogy

17 Economic Factors Hard to eliminate Rooted in basic survival needs
Reinforced by wide wealth and income gap between whites and nonwhites People’s prejudice against each other increases when the economy goes through a recession or depression and housing, jobs, and other necessities become scarce

18 The Many Forms of Discrimination
Discrimination is behavior based on prejudiced attitudes Individuals or groups that are discriminated against are denied equal treatment and opportunities offered to people in the dominant group

19 Gender Focus of much attention
Traditional roles for women in society have been changing Women in the work force New roles for men

20 Age Perception that older workers have difficulty adapting to change
Takes nearly twice as long for workers over 50 to find new jobs compared to younger people Age discrimination on the rise in the US Older employees have valuable knowledge and experience

21 Table 15.1

22 Race Race denotes a category of people perceived as distinctive on the basis of biologically inherited traits skin color hair texture People cannot change these traits A difficult discrimination to overcome

23 Myth of Race Critics view categories as social inventions that reinforce racism No scientific justification in human biology Some race categories include people who vary greatly in ethnicity Increase in mixed-race identity

24 Table 15.2

25 Race as Social Identity
Although not scientifically defensible Race is “real” socially, politically, and psychologically Proponents of race categories believe it is the only way to ensure all groups will be treated equally Racial pride – viewed as positive reinforcement

26 Religion Religious discrimination has been an issue throughout history
Intolerance for other religions Intolerance for different denominations within a religion Intolerance for religious practices

27 Disability Mentally or physically challenged people find it difficult to enter the job market Their rights to do so are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1991 Some employers still unwilling or unable to make reasonable accommodations

28 Sexual Orientation Discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation is motivated by homophobia Sexual orientation is not the big secret it once was When we are comfortable being ourselves, we are usually more productive and creative Progressive companies are taking steps to provide a more open atmosphere

29 Table 15.3

30 Subtle Forms of Discrimination
Discrimination based on gender, age, race, or disability is prohibited by law No legal protection for more subtle forms Weight Accents Socioeconomic Education Politics Value differences

31 What Can You Do? Decide if you want to stay with the organization
Determination whether the “difference” is something you can change Address it directly if you cannot or will not change Review assertiveness skills Compensate by excelling

32 The Economics of Valuing Diversity
There has been a shift away from treating everyone the same and movement toward valuing diversity Valuing diversity means that an organization intends to make full use of all employees Talents Ideas Experiences Perspectives

33 Valuing Diversity Diverse customers require diverse employees to know and meet their needs Diversity programs reduce turnover, absenteeism, complaints, litigation and improve public image The cost of not helping employees learn to respect and value each other is enormous Recognizing the value of diversity can help eliminate negative effects

34 Total Person Insight More and more, organizations can remain competitive only if they can recognize and obtain the best talent; value the diverse perspectives that come with talent born of different cultures, races, and genders; nurture and train that talent; and create an atmosphere that values its workforce. Lewis Brown Griggs and Lente-Louise Louw Authors, Valuing Diversity: New Tools For A New Reality

35 Managing Diversity Process of creating an organizational culture where the primary and secondary dimensions of diversity are respected As workforce becomes more diverse, this becomes more challenging

36 What Individuals Can Do
We cannot totally eliminate prejudices that have been deeply held and developed over time We can learn to change negative attitudes and behaviors

37 What Individuals Can Do
Learn to look critically and honestly at the particular myths and preconceived ideas you have been conditioned to believe about others Develop a sensitivity to differences Develop your own diversity awareness program

38 What Organizations Can Do
A well-planned and well-executed diversity program can promote understanding and diffuse tension A comprehensive diversity program has three pillars: Organizational commitment Employment practices Training and development

39 Figure 15.4 - Three Pillars of Diversity

40 Organizational Commitment
Diversity programs designed for competitive advantage usually have strong commitment Diversity programs seen as an event, or quick-fix can do more harm than good Key to success is long-term commitment

41 Employment Practices Actively recruit diversity
Plug into alternative networks Foster a climate for retention Subtle biases create unnecessary stress An organization that makes every effort to make all employees comfortable will reduce stress

42 Training and Development
Give managers and employees the tools they need to work more effectively with one another Uncover unconscious behavioral patterns Learn to value differences Diversity training programs can promote harmony, reduce conflict, and help give the organization a competitive advantage

43 Affirmative Action: Yesterday and Today
Affirmative action can be defined as a program that encourages the hiring and promotion of members of groups that have been discriminated against in the past It is an effort to make up for past wrongs

44 Table 15.4

45 Protected Individuals
Sex/gender Racial or ethnic origin Religion Age Individuals with disabilities Sexual orientation Military experience Marital status

46 Affirmative Action Plans (AAP)
Formal documents that employees compile annually for submission to various enforcement agencies Clarifies activities to seek out, employ, and develop talents of individuals from protected classes

47 Common Elements of AAPs
Active recruitment of women and minorities Elimination of prejudicial questions on employment applications Establishment of specific goals and timetables for minority hiring Validation of employment testing procedures

48 The Affirmative Action Debate
Some people believe it is time to rethink affirmative action Critics argue that no preferential treatment should be given to any groups Common arguments Preferences are discriminatory Preferences do not make sense, given changing demographics The debate will continue

49 Chapter Review Primary and secondary dimensions of diversity
Primary dimensions include gender, age, race, physical and mental abilities, and sexual orientation Secondary dimensions include health habits, religious beliefs, ethnic customs, communication style, relationship status, income, general appearance, education, and training

50 Chapter Review Formation of prejudiced attitudes
Prejudice is an attitude based on others’ difference and ignorance, fear, and cultural conditioning Prejudiced people tend to see others as stereotypes rather than individuals Prejudicial attitudes are formed through childhood experiences, ethnocentrism, and economic factors

51 Chapter Review Discrimination in the workplace
Discrimination is behavior based on prejudicial attitudes Groups protected by law Gender, age, race, disabilities, religion, military and sexual orientation Subtle discrimination based on different appearances or educational backgrounds Subtle forms of discrimination not illegal, but they are disruptive to productive work

52 Chapter Review Organizational cultures that value diversity
Valuing diversity is an economic issue The work force will soon consist of a minority of white men and a majority of women, people of color, and immigrants

53 Chapter Review Organizational cultures that value diversity
Competitive organizations must value diverse workers their ideas and talents Organizations need to understand their equally diverse customers’ needs Valuing diversity is a business imperative

54 Chapter Review Individual and organizational diversity Individuals can
Let go of their stereotypes Honestly evaluate their prejudiced attitudes Develop sensitivity to differences Develop their personal diversity programs Organizations must Value individual differences Implement practices that respect diversity Training should be a committed process Seek out, employ, and develop diversity

55 Chapter Review Affirmative action programs
Affirmative action guidelines have helped bring fairness in hiring and promotion Critics say affirmative action is discriminatory because it allows preferential treatment These preferences may no longer make sense given the changing demographics of today’s work force


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