Many managers are finding innovative ways to integrate diversity initiatives into their organizations. These initiatives teach current employees to value differences, direct corpo- rate recruiting efforts, influence supplier decisions, and provide development training for women and minorities. Smart managers value diversity and enforce the value in day-to-day decision making.
In the United States, today’s companies reflect the country’s image as a melting pot but with a difference. In the past, the United States was a place where people of different national origins, ethnicities, races, and religions came together and blended to resemble one another. Opportunities for advancement were limited to those workers who easily fit into the main- stream of the larger culture. Some immigrants chose desperate measures to fit in, such as abandoning their native languages, changing their last names, and sacrificing their own unique cultures. In essence, everyone in workplace organizations was encouraged to share similar beliefs, values, and lifestyles despite differences in gender, race, and ethnicity.109
Now organizations recognize that everyone is not the same and that the differences people bring to the workplace are valuable.110 Rather than expecting all employees to adopt similar attitudes and values, managers are learning that these differences enable their com- panies to compete globally and to tap into rich sources of new talent. Although diversity in North America has been a reality for some time, genuine efforts to accept and manage diverse people began only in recent years. Exhibit 9.10 lists some interesting milestones in the history of corporate diversity.
The following sections introduce the topic of diversity, its causes, and its consequences. We look at some of the challenges minorities face, ways managers deal with workforce diversity, and organizational responses to create an environment that welcomes and values diverse employees. The chapter also considers issues of sexual harassment, global diversity, and new approaches to managing diversity in today’s workplace.
Source: Daft Richard L., Marcic Dorothy (2009), Understanding Management, South-Western College Pub; 8th edition.