SOCS 350 Cultural Diversity in the Professions
September 7, 2013
Cultural diversity is a work in progress every day in an organization or business. According to Bell (2012), diversity is defined as” real or perceived differences among people in race, ethnicity, sex, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, work and family status, weight and appearance, and other identity attributes that affect their interactions and relationships.” Professionals and managers of businesses/organizations need an understanding of the differences between culture, ethnic, and gender to develop a successful company and engaged employees. Understanding these components is crucial because they are important aspects of diversity in a workplace. Violation of any of the three could have negative consequences for the company.
Culture is a set of beliefs, values, morals a group of people share or a way of life (Bell, 2012). Managers and professionals build relationships with one another through work relations and personal relations; they begin to understand each one’s personal culture, as a result, this leads to mutual respect towards each other. Respecting one’s culture bridges a gap between people, this bridge connects to trust, honor and loyalty. Professional relationships develop over time and make an enormous difference in the success of a company. It’s important to bridge cultural gap to develop a diverse organization. A diverse organization has a positive impact on the success of the company. In the Let’s Be Lefties for a Day experiment, I realized how dependent I was on my right hand. Due to the inability to use it, I realized I was different from others. This is an example of cultural differences- this became ‘my way of life’ for the day. I had to learn to do things different, which was very uncomfortable for me. Living with a disability has its limitation but one learns to overcome them and succeed in the face of diversity.
The next aspect of diversity in a workplace is ethnic. According to Bell (2012), ethnic refers to “a shared national origin or a shared cultural heritage.” Example of ethnicity is a group of people considered to be Asians, Hispanics, or Americans; there are subgroups of people under the ethnic origin of each. These groups of people may come from different areas of the world but are still considered the same national origin. Ethnic and race are mistakenly used interchangeably but they’re different. Bell (2012) describes race is a category of people distinguished by identifiable physical characteristics that distinguish them from other groups of people in the society. It’s important to understand the difference of ethnic as heritage and race as physical appearance of a group of people. They are completely two different meanings. Business professionals must differentiate between race and ethnic to avoid discrimination. Discrimination is a negative act based on the biased ideas of others; this is a violation of an individual’s civil rights. It’s crucial for businesses to avoid violating an individual’s civil right due to the negativity it can encompass a company. The Federal Government passed an act to protect individuals from discrimination