Responses to and Barriers to Workplace Diversity in Modern Organizations

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The idea of diversity management started in the late 80s in North America and then extended to other parts of the world subsequently. This concept achieved popularity as a new management gain on the United Kingdom and then proceed with social and economic tendency. The advantage of diversity workforce is usually helpful for business demand but not restricted to combined profits and earnings. This variation to other description on diversity result to business prosperity, dangerous by producing conflict, undermining connection, or reducing productivity (CFI, 2020).

Diversity in organizations has been a constant concern for the management of companies committed to the development of their talents and markets. This is because a team with different characteristics is capable of promoting innovation - and this is an important competitive factor.

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We can understand diversity in companies as an environment that welcomes a plurality of distinct behavioral, social and cultural profiles, which can involve race, religion, physical capacity, age, gender, marital status, ideological concepts, among others. Gender diversity relates to enlarged sales revenue, more customers, and significant comparable profits among others. It is important to comprehend how these dimensions act on success, motivation, performance and interactions with others (Kandola R, Fullerton J, 1998).

However, this plurality in organizations does not mean giving priority to the selection of some groups of people, but taking into account the non-distinction of ideas and cultures, respecting the decisions of each individual.

Diversity is necessary for any successful workplace approach due competitive pressures on corporation to assist and refine economic performance, modify expectations and aspirations of society. The expand pressure is requiring attention on demand to address contextual realities, that have been neglected for years. The result of heterosexual, white and male are outdated as it does not indicate the correct mixture of trend labor market. Diversity does not precisely expand to hiring varied individuals, but also ensure that the participation of these workers is equally treated.

Diversity in companies is capable of promoting a healthy work environment. A good manager has a capacity to bring a group of diversity together and highlight similarities and create a bond to work better together.

To managing people in organizations is necessary to analyze human and social capital, and create a strategic assumption once the key to organizational success are people, individual or collective.

Responses to Diversity in Modern Organizations

The people within an organization can respond differently to diversity. People who are afraid of diversity, has some difference in negatives responses and people that recognize diversity has some positives response. When it comes to managing diversity, it can either be reactive, defensive or proactive (Astrid Podsiadlowski a, Daniela Gröschke b, Marina Kogler a,, 2012).

Roosevelt (1995) identified possible reactions to diversity, such as deny, suppression, assimilation, isolations and exclusion, tolerations and co-existence, affirmative action and mutual adaptation. What we mean by deny this is when we ignore that differences exist, that all decisions (Roosevelt, 1995) are color, age, gender blind and the success are determined by merit and performance. The suppression of difference discourage diversity. An example is by telling or reinforcing others to quit complaining about issues. Assimilation is the idea, that everyone will learn to fit in and become like the dominant group, and that it takes time for people to take the correct approach. Isolations and exclusion, they keep the individual at as distance, and thus limiting the influence they would have on challenging homogeneity in the organization. Tolerations and co-existence, in this approach the organization understands there is diversity, but they do not value or accept the differences. Some progressive companies in big majority multinational start to accept and tolerate diversity. Affirmative action is the approach that tries to get equality and balance of diversity, it is positive but continues to be artificial. As examples are the gay parade and get women back to work. It is publicity to show that the company is ‘diverse’. The company is making a statement without creating positive changes. Mutual adaptation tries to change the views and behavior in order to create positive relationship, as consequence people learn more. In this environment people learn and make actual changes in behavior.

Barriers to Workplace Diversity

It is clear, diversity in workplace has a lot of benefits for a company. These include increased innovation, enhanced productivity and improved company culture. However, managers need to know that there can be some barriers diversity can create. These barriers include, problems with integration, communications issues, resistance to change, lack of awareness, unhealthy stereotypes and prejudice, ethnocentrism, unsupportive working environment, fear of reverse, discrimination (WGU, 2019).

Making employees feel included is an important factor for the integration into the office. Some workplaces find it an issue, because they do not have the right program to deal with diversity. The integrations are necessary to include social connections with other employees, for the individual to take responsibilities and they understand their environment (WGU, 2019).

Another issue is communications, due to differences in culture some requests can be misunderstood and taken as an offense. Workplaces with employee that speak different languages, can pass the wrong information or considered rude. Managers can try different approaches with employees due to their background but maybe ensure what approach to take with everyone (WGU, 2019).

If there are new policies related to improving diversity, some employees maybe resistant to the change and this can be the largest barrier. The people who are resistant may feel unwanted by the company and can be stereotyped as racist (WGU, 2019).

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