5-2 Learning Objectives 1.Define diversity. 2.Discuss how the U.S. workforce is changing and its impact on the supervisor. 3.Differentiate among prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes in the workplace. 4.Explain how sexism and ageism are barriers to diversity and how supervisors can be more aware of them. 5.Describe some ways to communicate more effectively in the diverse workplace. 6.Describe the goals of diversity training. 7.List the most important recent legislation affecting diversity and its provisions.
5-3 What is Diversity? Ensuring diversity within an organization offers supervisors the opportunity to make the best fit between the employee and the job, allowing varied points of view to be aired and improving decision making. Businesses and governments are striving to acknowledge diversity in their communications and interactions with citizens, employees, and customers. Diversity Characteristics of individuals that shape their identities and the experiences they have in society.
5-4 A Look at Our Diversity As recently as 1980 white men accounted for half of U.S. workers. Today: The number of white women in the workforce has risen above 40 percent--particularly mothers of young children. Women owned businesses are growing. The proportion of women and minorities in the workforce is expected to rise to more than 80 percent soon. The workforce is expected to continue to age.
5-5 Composition of the American Workforce
5-6 Challenges to Working in a Diverse Society Trends in the composition of the workforce are changing the way business firms operate. Supervisors today need new skills to communicate and collaborate effectively with a broader range of people. Even within the company, differences can flourish between one location and another. Corporate culture Beliefs and norms that govern organizational behavior in a firm.
5-7 Prejudice and Discrimination We don’t always recognize our own prejudices for what they are, even when they are affecting our behavior. Discrimination is prohibited by law. A workplace tainted by prejudice and discrimination discourages and divides employees. Supervisors have a responsibility to help guard against discrimination. Once recognized, prejudices can be countered or even eliminated.
5-8 Stereotypes Supervisors must always guard against generalizing what they believe or observe about a culture and using that to unfairly classify its members. Stereotypes prevent us from seeing people as individuals and treating them accordingly. Two reasons stereotypes may persist despite our realization that they are inaccurate: We tend to think they are helpful shortcuts to forming opinions. We sometimes find it comforting to think we know what people are like without taking the time to get to know them in their real complexity.
5-9 Sexism Sexism is discrimination based on gender stereotypes. Sexism challenges the supervisor’s efforts to ensure a fair and harmonious work environment. Examples of sexism: Passing over a woman for a physically demanding job Asking a pregnant job applicant about child care arrangements Denying a promotion to a qualified woman Sexual harassment is illegal, and experts advise supervisors to adopt a policy of “zero tolerance.”
5-10 Women-Owned Businesses: A Growing Share of the Total
5-11 Ageism Some people expect older workers to perform less effectively, but evidence shows such negative expectations are often unfounded. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) makes it illegal to fail to hire, or to fire, based on age. A study of 4,000 executives showed that: Patience doesn’t blossom until after the age of 45. Open-mindedness and teamwork are abilities that actually increase with age. Supervisors should beware of making decisions based on assumptions about age. Exception: BFOQ.
Reasons to Hire Older Workers 1.They are flexible about working different schedules. 2.They can serve as mentors to younger co-workers. 3.They offer invaluable experience. 4.They have a strong work ethic. 5.They are more reliable than younger workers. 6.They add diversity of thought and approach. 7.They are particularly loyal. 8.They take their work very seriously. 9.They have established networks. 10.They are less likely to quit.
5-13 Percentage of People Over Age 65 in the United States, 2000 and 2030
5-14 Sources of Diversity in the Workplace Ethnic or racial group Religion Country or state of origin Age Sex Family size Marital status Disability status Sexual orientation Profession or technical specialty Work experience
5-15 Advantages of Diversity for Supervisors The opportunity to learn from the varied perspectives of those unlike ourselves A better motivated and more loyal team of employees Enhanced communication skills Improved management ability Enhanced opportunities for career advancement
5-16 Advantages of Diversity for Organizations Greater ability to attract and retain the best employees for the job Increased productivity Higher morale and motivation throughout the company More resilient workforce Greater innovation Reduced turnover Enhanced performance leading to greater market share
5-17 Communication Nonverbal communication is just as powerful in many contexts as the actual words we say. Body language differs from one culture to another. In diverse work places, supervisors should choose words with extra care, particularly when giving directions. Explanation of terms should be a standard part of orientation and training. Think before communicating.
5-18 Diversity Training Formal diversity training may be needed to raise employee awareness of multiculturalism and to help reduce prejudice and stereotypes. Some firms have experienced a backlash against diversity training—problems include the reinforcement of group stereotypes and even lawsuits based on offensive statements made during “awareness raising” sessions. Appropriate controls and guidelines should accompany the training, which should be administered by professional trainers.
5-19 Legal Issues Several acts of legislation have been passed to govern hiring, pay, promotion, and evaluation. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Instituted in 1964 Acts as the government’s major means of enforcing equal employment opportunity law Has the power to investigate complaints, use conciliation to eliminate discrimination when found, and file discrimination charges on behalf of an individual if needed
5-20 Summary Diversity refers to the characteristics of individuals that shape their identities and the experiences they have in society. As the workforce continues to change, supervisors should look at diversity as an opportunity to build a strong and flexible team of workers. Prejudice is a preconceived judgment about an individual or group of people. Discrimination is unfair or inequitable treatment based on prejudice. Stereotypes are generalized, fixed images we hold of others. Sexism and ageism discriminate against others on the basis of sex or age.
5-21 Summary (continued) Communication in the workplace is one area where supervisors can serve as particularly good role models of managing diversity constructively. Supervisors need to ensure that cultural differences are perceived by everyone as a positive force within the firm. There are laws governing hiring, pay, promotion, and evaluation, all within the scope of the supervisor’s responsibilities, which the EEOC enforces.