Published on March 16, 2014
Diversity in the Workplace
Overview How Diverse Are We and Why Is Diversity Important? Types of Diversity Laws and Executive Orders Prohibiting Discrimination Challenges of Diversity Strategies for Managing Diversity Programs for Managing Diversity
US Workforce is More Diverse than Ever Before More women are working than ever before The workforce will continue to get older The number of immigrants has increased Ethnic and racial diversity is increasing
Why is Diversity Important? The service economy Interactions between people are key Customer base is more diverse Similarities between people ease process Globalization of business Doing business with people from around world The changing labor market Company mergers and buy-outs
Types of Diversity Gender Diversity Age Diversity Cultural Diversity Sexual Orientation Family Situations Physical and Psychological Disabilities Political Views Personal Idiosyncrasies
Proportion of Women in the Workforce 1950-2000 Source: U..S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 Year Percent
Gender Diversity: Nonstandard work More women in workforce today than ever Better educated than ever Most “nonstandard” workers (those who do not hold regular, full-time jobs) are women 55% of workers paid by temporary agencies are women 70% of part-time workers are women Stereotypes still remain Glass ceiling, etc.
Gender Diversity: Wages and Income In 2000, women who worked full-time, year round earned 74.3 cents for each dollar earned by men Over a lifetime of work, the average 25-year- old woman who works full-time, year round until she retires at 65 will earn $523,000 less than the average working man 58% of the workers who benefited from the last minimum wage increase were women
Age Diversity As population ages, more older workers are available Re-entry of middle-aged women to work Retirees returning to supplement pension Internships bring in more younger employees
Cultural Diversity Affects values, view of the world More than 40% of new entrants into U.S. workforce from non-“majority” groups About 22% new immigrants About 20% African-American or Hispanic Growing international business Employees maintain ties to national and cultural heritage
Cultural Diversity (Hofstede) Managers and employees vary on 5 dimensions of national culture: 1. Individualism vs. collectivism 2. Power distance: extent to which a society accepts the fact that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally 3. Uncertainty Avoidance: The extent to which a society feels threatened by uncertain and ambiguous situations and tries to avoid them 4. Quantity vs. Quality of Life (also masc/fem) 5. Long term orientation
Comparison of US vs. World Average on Hofstede’s Dimensions Power Distance Masculine Long term Individualism Uncertainty Avoidance Power Distance Masculine Long term Individualism Uncertainty Avoidance
Sexual Orientation Diversity Approximately 10-14% of the US workforce is lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB; Powers, 1996) Disclosure of sexual orientation is a critical and complex decision that is affected by many factors (Ragins et al., 2001)
Sexual Orientation Diversity Most discrimination laws (e.g., CRA of 1964) do not protect sexual identity Discrimination against employees who are or who are perceived to be LGB is legal in most workplaces (Button et al., 1997; van der Meide, 2000) 25-66% of LGB employees report discrimination. This number is likely much higher due to low disclosure rates (Badgett, 1996; Driscoll et al., 1996; Schneider, 1987)
Other Types of Diversity Family situations Single employees (mothers and others) Physical and psychological disabilities Americans with Disabilities Act Political views Personal idiosyncrasies
The pay gap, 1985-2000 median weekly earnings of full-time workers, as a percentage of those of white men 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1985 1990 1995 1999 White men Black men White women Hispanic men Hispanic women Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000, Table 696, p. 437.
Where Women and Minorities Manage Female Black HispanicPercentage of total, 1999 All occupations 46.5% 11.3% 10.3% Managerial and professional 49.5 8.0 5.0 Executive, administrative and managerial 45.1 7.6 5.6 Public officials and administrators 51.1 14.0 4.9 Financial managers 51.1 7.0 5.4 Personnel and labor relations managers 60.4 10.9 6.3 Purchasing managers 47.4 8.9 5.6 Marketing, advertising, and PR 37.6 4.8 2.7 Educational administrators 62.5 15.0 4.8 Health care managers 77.4 8.9 6.6 Property and real estate managers 49.4 6.6 8.9 Management-related occupations 57.8 9.8 5.3 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000, table 669, pp. 416-418.
Federal Laws and Executive Orders Prohibiting Job Discrimination Equal Pay Act (1963) Civil Rights Act (1964; amended 1972, 1991) Executive Order 11246 (1965) Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) Equal Employment Opportunity Act (1972) Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1972) Americans with Disabilities Act (1978) Family and Medical Leave Act (1993)
Challenges of Diversity Availability Challenge In past employers could control diversity • More people than jobs Qualified employees have become scarce • Employers must become more flexible • Realize “Different does not mean deficient” Fairness challenge In past, typically viewed as equal treatment • Equal Employment Opportunity Now employers must embrace new diversity • Essentially focus on “differences”
Challenges of Diversity Synergy challenge More and more group-based work Diversity can create positive and negative conflict • Can facilitate creative problem-solving • Can close down communication • Can derail group processes Group leaders must minimize destructive conflict and maximize diversity of input
Strategies for Managing Diversity Articulate a clear diversity mission, set objectives, and hold managers accountable. Spread a wide net in recruitment to find the most diverse possible pool of qualified candidates. Identify promising women and minorities and provide them with mentors and other kinds of support. Set up diversity councils to monitor the company’s goals and progress toward them.
Programs for Managing Diversity: Diversity Training Providing managers with training How to recruit/hire diverse employees How to orient/integrate new employees Providing all employees with training Realizing the differences that exist Learning how differences affect working environment How to maximize productivity without ignoring employee differences
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