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Diversity and Multiculturalism
In this research paper, I described the differences between diversity and multiculturalism. There are many studies out there that research the pros and cons of diversity and multiculturalism. Both terms are essential in the workplace, and this paper examines XXX published articles and XXX researches conducted on diversity and multiculturalism in the workplace. Additionally, discuss diversity in recruitment, selection, compensation, and retention in the workplace. Also, my recommendation is to implement or revamp diversity policies in the workplace. Blindly executing diversity or multiculturalism programs without any knowledge, understanding, and fostering each individual’s uniqueness in a workplace is ineffective and may cause conflict. Understanding and accepting are keys to a successful program in an organization.
Difference Between Diversity and Multiculturalism.
Jimmy Carter once said, “we have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”
United States of America is a perfect example of a melting pot and a salad bowl. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, diversity is “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially:the inclusion of different types of people such as people of different races or cultures in a group or organization.” (“Diversity”, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, n.d). In a simple word, otherness. For example, gender, race, and culture. More in-depth includes social status or class, sexual orientation such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), ability, religion, and appearance. These differences are the melting pot in the United States.
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On the other hand, multiculturalism is more broad and complex in definition. In sociology, multiculturalism defines how a society deals with cultural diversity (Longly, 2019). Multiculturalism is not just one cultural. It is when we move to an understanding of many cultures norms. There are two primary concepts commonly used to describe diversity and multiculturalism, the “melting pot” and the “salad bowl” concepts (Longly, 2019). Hence, the word “multi.” For instance, New York City has many ethnically diverse communities such as Chinatown, Thai town, etc. A salad bowl is a perfect metaphor for New York City. It is similar to a salad’s ingredients. Different cultures are brought together in one place, but rather than mixing into a single one culture; they still preserve their own identity. It is a metaphor when you taste tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in a salad bowl.
Diversity and multiculturalism are different in definition and also in different paths, even though they were intended to mean the same thing. Diversity concentrates on creating co-existence between individuals from diverse backgrounds and setting up regulations, laws, policies, local policies to live without any discrimination. However, multiculturalism is the understanding between different cultures, and people from different cultures come together to share their different beliefs, ideas, and traditions (Batchmann, 2006).
Diversity in Recruitment
Diversity in the workplace is a fast-growing in the business world. The recruitment or hiring process is a vital part of human resource management. It is the first step in finding the right candidates for the position. To attract more diverse candidates, carefully create job postings, watch for words, and revamp work schedule flexibility such as changing time off and scheduling policies to include more family day, religious holidays, community events, and so on.
Moreover, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involved during the recruiting process due to the mandate enforce employment discrimination laws (I’m recruting…n.d.). An employer must ensure all employees involved in recruitment and hiring in the human resource department understand their responsibilities. This may help prevent discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, requires the EEOC to take specific actions before bringing suit on behalf of individuals filing charges of discrimination. According to the EEOC, employers must not discriminate against candidates based on their race, genetic information, religion, and other cultural differences (Mullings & Grant, 20017).
An example of the EEOC enforcement priority checklist based on sex is the protection of lesbian, homosexuals, transgender, and bisexuals individuals. In religion, EEOC prohibits discriminatory practices against those who are Muslim, Middle Eastern, or Asian descent (Wolf, 2018).
Some States laws have no protections based on gender identity such as LGBT in a workplace to protect those employees from discrimination. However, most states passed the diversity policy. In Kansas, under the authority of the governor’s office, Executive Order 07-24 designed to ensure accepting, understanding, and value diversity in the workplace throughout the state and established three additional programs:
1. A diversity management program that includes recruitment and hiring, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of such programs.
2. Prohibiting discrimination and harassment programs. This program provides training and inspection.
3. An awareness program concerning legal protections for persons with disabilities to allow qualified applicants to apply for employment (Executive Order…, 207).
Therefore, Human Resource (HR) managers have responsibilities to research, knowledge, and understanding in the recruiting process involved aspects of diversity and multiculturalism. Not only selecting the most qualified candidate, but also a reponsiblit to prevent discrimination and create diverse opportunities for all candidates regardless of their backgrounds.
Diversity in Selection
Choosing a candidate with the right qualifications and skills for the position is the selection process. Usually, occur after the interviewing. The selection process should not solely on which candidates are best to represent the term “diverse” (Mayhew, 2016).
The keys to the selection process must consider the need for an organization and the best interest of an organization’s goals. As was mentioned, the hiring manager should think about the candidate’s diversity policy, EEOC, and candidates’ qualifications. Other significant factors are personalities and characteristics which determine a candidate is a good fit for the organization. When choosing candidates, HR managers should create a process and choose representative board members. The board enables better choice and decision making, including how to deal with unconscious bias. Additionally, the board must be aware of their opinions, biases, and stereotypes. Also, the board needs to build an understanding of potential impact if bias interferes with the selection process (Chamberlain, 2016).
Bias may occur during the interview between the interviewers and interviewees, but it is crucial to be aware of one’s internal thoughts and judgments. When bias thoughts arise during the interview, there is a possible misunderstanding of the candidate and may result in limiting beliefs about the potentiality of the candidate.
Another important factor is to pay attention to nonverbal and body language. In making a final selection, make choices based on facts rather than feelings and opinions, either your own and other board’s opinion (Santovec, 2009).
Not only diversity selection is governed by law, but it is important to recognize diversity is part of businesses in today’s world.
Diversity in Compensation
While diversity is important, compensation is also necessary in the workplace for diverse employees. Compensation are benefits, salary, health care benefits, insurance, and many more.
On April 19, 2016, Maryland signed the new equal pay bill. This law prohibits pay discrimination based on sex and gender identity. Employees who work in the same county for the same employer requires equal pay for equal work. Also, the law prohibits discrimination by providing less favorable employment opportunities, and the employer may not restrict an employee from talking, revealing, or asking about salaries (Csordas, n.d.).
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However, a consulting firm KG Diversity CEO, Doug Harris, suggests that organization should plan a sustainable policy when developing diversity-based compensation. A company must first establish a strategy that will include accountability to create meaningful policy. It is crucial to have the right approach, to ensure the correct behavior is being awarded: bonuses, promotion, etc (Whyte, 2015). Accountability is a key to developed diversity-based compensation.
Diversity in Retention
Retention or turnover is a serious problem for organizations. There are two forms of turnover involuntary and voluntary turnover (Phillips, 2015). Employee volunteers to quit jobs may cause by their health issues, pay, compensation, stress, dissatisfied with the company, and others. Involuntary turnover due to low quality of job performance, behavior issues, conflict, etc. After identifying the type of turnover, HR managers should look at the retention plans and possible revamp organization’s policies to manage and reduce turnover. If ignored, the issue may arise in the future.
Retention plans help the HR managers to understand concepts involved with job dissatisfaction and satisfaction. Assuming that diverse group employees stay or leave for the same reason causing “targeted for retention” (Sullivan, 2017)
Instead of assuming “targeted for retention”, HR managers should focus on identifying the reasons that these individual employees stay or leave based on facts.
The success of a company’s diverse employees and fostering diversity creates a healthy environment and improves the turnover rate. This way, everyone is always engaged and working efficiently.
Advantages of Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity in the workplace is vital in an organization’s growth and future. Today is a fast-changing world that made it impossible for one group of people to live without interacting with others outside their group. Diversity within an organization will allow the employee to share ideas and a variety of talents and skills while working together.
A survey and data were used to identify findings indicate that diversity training can improve team creativity in diverse nationality teams versus the control team. The data from 2004 EEO complaints annual report was used as a measurement of effective diversity management. Findings confirmed the data on the effects of diversity management on organizational performance. Higher EEO complaints reported to the agency’s EEO office indicate that the agency handles diversity less effectively. In other words, effective diversity management policies and practices perform better than an agency with higher EEO complaints that are less effective at diversity policies (Homan et al., 2015).
For example, if an organization had 20 employees from 20 different backgrounds, an organization could have 20 different ideas and perspectives on how to solve a problem. A “well rounded” company should have diverse employees in a company and robust diversity programs.
Disadvantages of Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity in the workplace has so many benefits and also challenges. It may cause not only difficulties in misunderstanding but also conflicts among employees or between employees and employers.
As cultures differences, there may be misunderstandings of meanings. Using the left hand to eat is normal to one culture but may be considered disrespectful to another. In Thailand, tourists or visitors should avoid pointing their feet directly at another person, elderly, King, or Buddha statue. Also, it is inappropriate to touch people’s head. HR managers need to educate and provide diversity training to employees across the organization.
The most apparent disadvantage is language barriers. American and British speak English, the same language, but some words have very different meanings. For example, in the United States, the word football is American football. In the United Kingdom football refers to soccer.
Employees in an organization must work hard to overcome these barriers, which is why an organization should focus on diversity training to help prevent miscommunication.
Diversity brings different ideas, but having many ideas and perspectives makes it hard to find a better solution to solve one problem. Different ideas is one of the advantages, and it is a reason how many organizations seek to increase diversity in the workplace. But there are times when ideas are so diverse. As a result, it is challenging to make a decision, and it could cause disagreement.
The advantages and disadvantages of diversity in the workplace are based on the commitment of an organization. It starts with an organization’s goals before the recruitment and selection process. If the leaders of an organization do not have an interest in supporting a diverse in the workplace, then the process is failing before it begins.
Today, diversity and multiculturalism are essential in the workplace. The United States of America is a big “melting pot.” Diversity happens when people of different genders, religions, races, ethnicities, and beliefs come together to form a community. Multiculturalism is a “bowl of salad.” The key to achieving a high degree of cultural diversity is understanding and accepting the uniqueness of each individual.
Not only in the USA, but most organizations from all over the world are increasingly made up of diverse races, gender, cultures, and ethnic groups. By understanding, recognizing the value of “otherness”, and learning about these different groups promoting respect and trust across all cultures for a better world.
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