Gender and Diversity in Organization
Gender and Diversity in Organization

The rapidly changing Constitution of the United States in regard to workforce has necessitated an increase in researches in the areas of gender and diversity in the workplaces. The development of legislative processes combined with activities of human rights institutions has led to an increased focus on ensuring equality in the workplace. Diversity in organizations involves accepting and offering equal employment opportunities to all. Organizations aiming to achieve diversity in their workforce ought to have anti-discrimination policies and affirmative action programs that regulate the human resource functions. The primary goal of diversity is not only to eradicate stereotypes and prejudices, but also to leverage the positives that come with diversity. Organizations in the United States are now increasingly recruiting the categories that were once marginalized, including the females and the black people. This research paper investigates the diversity in organizations by focusing on elements of diversity in race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, and disability.

Age diversity

Many employers that consider age as an employment factor connect it with job performance ratings, salary demands and hiring decisions. Age diversity policies of an organization focus on reaping the optimal benefits of having a mixed workforce. Shore et al. note that most of the age-based discrimination in organizations is directed towards the older workers mainly by the younger ones. The discrimination is prevalent if an older worker is a frontline employee. The underlying assumption here is that an older person should be at the top of the managerial hierarchy, and the low levels of management should be left to the younger workers. Researches show that the primary activity where age-based discrimination is likely to be prevalent is connected with an organization’s hiring practices.

Most organizations are inclined to hire the younger workers more willingly than the older ones. Such behavior is premised on the idea that the older people are not as productive in their work as the younger ones. Of greater significance, however, is the presumption that the older generation is not tech-savvy, and thus, may be significantly restricted in their tasks and less flexible in their functionalities. The older workers are not likely to learn anything new and would present a significant challenge in an attempt to train them. Another manifestation of age-based discrimination is in remuneration. The older workers are paid relatively lower wages as compared to their younger counterparts performing the same tasks. Also, the older workers are accorded lower ratings when their job performance is evaluated. They get low rating is because they are perceived to be less productive.

Gender diversity

Gender diversity in an organization means equal employment opportunities and pay for all genders. However, very often, discrimination against the female workers takes place. Of late, there has been a raging debate on equal pay for the same job position for men and women. The debate participants came to the realization that most female workers receive less remuneration compared to their male counterparts for the same tasks performed in similar working conditions. Apart from pay issues, the female workers are also disadvantaged in securing opportunities for upward mobility as compared to the male workers.

Researchers studying gender diversity have established that a mixed-gender workforce has a relatively higher job performance as compared to a single-gender one. Furthermore, mixed-gender workforce has better task and conflict management. Better task management is connected with the unique females’ ability to remain composed in the face of adversity. The males’ drive and gusto to perform the task at hand complements the females’ attributes to ensure efficiency in an organization. Curiously, gender diversity has also been viewed as a primary development driver. Firms with the most number of female workers in their top levels of managements had a higher propensity to pursue development-oriented and horizontal growth goals. Thus, the female gender intensifies a firm’s growth orientation.

The unequivocal recommendation for organizations is to put the necessary rules in practice to realize gender diversity. Since the female workers are disadvantaged, the following measures are recommended as a part of an affirmative action. First, the female workers should be paid an equal amount to that of their male counterparts for the same job position. Second, the women should also have more flexible working programs, sick leave and even should be fitted in part-time work schedules to juggle work with home.

Race and cultural diversity

Race and cultural diversity in organizations mean equal employment opportunities, pay and promotion opportunities for people of all the races and from different cultures. In the United States, race diversity is far from being achieved. Statistics show that there is massive underrepresentation of the minorities in the workforce. The white people (Caucasians) constitute nearly 86% of the US workforce. African Americans constitute 7% of the total workforce in comparison to almost 20% they constitute of the country’s population. The Latino workers constitute nearly 4% of the total workforce, which is an underrepresentation considering that they form nearly 7% of the total American population.

The stereotypes are that the minorities, which include the African American and Latino workers, have higher illiteracy levels and need special job trainings. Shore et al. assert that they are, therefore, more likely to be overlooked for hiring, training, promotion and other human resource functions of an organization. Apart from being incompetent, they are also viewed as people with low job satisfaction, motivation, and poor working attitudes. In effect, there arises a perception that the hiring organizations become susceptible to high turnover rate, which is expensive in the long run. However, researches have shown that a multiracial workforce is more productive in that it has workers with diverse experiences. The experience appears to be useful when dealing with tasks that require advanced problem-solving skills. A multi-racial workforce is also more tolerant and accommodating, and thus, more peaceful.

Lastly, their vast and varied experience makes the workers more creative. The creativity is beneficial to the organization if harnessed during innovation. Being cultural-wise, a diverse workforce can leverage its diversity to appeal to larger markets. The leverage comes in because an organization attains a worldwide outlook, a concept known as access and legitimacy. Interestingly, an organization with a culturally diverse workforce whose tasks are to be performed in groups has a disadvantage. The reason for this is that there is reduced cohesion showing that people from a single culture can perform group-based tasks better than their multicultural counterparts.

Sexual orientation diversity

Sexual diversity in organizations is harder to observe and achieve. The difficulty arises because sexuality, unlike gender, race, age and disability, is not ‘visible’. Unless an individual discloses his or her sexual orientation, it is hard to determine. Gay men and lesbians are the minority workers, and they face discrimination for their sexual orientation. The bias arises because the society considers them as non-normal. As a result, most of them have to keep their sexual orientation a closely-guarded secret. Some of those that have made their orientation public have been overlooked during promotions. They are also poorly remunerated as compared to their straight counterparts or shunned by their colleagues.

Despite these stereotypes and discriminations, some researchers studying sexual diversity have established that a mixed workforce has a higher job performance than purely straight workforces. The explanation is that the gay men and lesbians have already anticipated those hardships. For this reason, they have from the start acquired mental strength and developed their marketable skills so as to have better job opportunities. For instance, the lesbians are said to be of the view that they are not going to live with a man who would be the breadwinner in future. For this reason, they already know they will have to rely on and fend for themselves. Realization of this makes them more aggressive in the performance of their tasks.

Disability diversity

Workers with physical and mental disabilities are usually negatively perceived by recruiters and are overlooked during promotions. They are also likely to be looked down on by their colleagues and immediate managers. The discrimination happens because they are perceived as incompetent and having lower job performance compared to others. The perception, however, does not reflect on their job performance ratings. The reason for this is that their assessors, for some reasons, feel pity and award them higher ratings than they deserve. The actions by the assessors create friction between normal and disabled workers and further fuel their discrimination. Most of the researches conducted on disability diversity have not shown positive impacts of disabled people on the organizations they work for.

In conclusion, it is apparent that diversity has significant advantages and disadvantages. It is also clear that the pros by far outweigh the cons. Some of the benefits include better cohesion in the workforce and increased efficiency. An example of a related disadvantage is the possibility of friction. The existence of the benefits creates the necessity of an affirmative action. The affirmative action would benefit both the organizations and the society. Organizations would achieve better performance, while the society would achieve the much-needed equality. Different forms of anti-discrimination campaigns are becoming more prevalent in the modern society. Diversity in organizations would be essential in defeating negative stereotypes and prejudice. Diversity would also go a long way in fostering inclusion, which, in turn, would provide a conducive environment for increased productivity.

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