Diversity in the Workplace Essay

Submitted By shamrocksally
Words: 2513
Pages: 11

Diversity is an aspect of life that is almost inescapable, especially in the workplace. As we go about our daily lives, we are surrounded by people and cultures that differ from what was once considered the typical American lifestyle. There are endless options of food, music and social activities allowing us a small chance to experience and explore what life is like in other countries.
Businesses are also recognizing the need and importance of diversity. Many have begun investing in diversity and inclusion as part of their overall management structures. To continually challenge their practice, organizations are striving to make the connection between those principles and their corporate performance (Chaney & Martin, 2014). This paper will explore some of the key issues regarding diversity in the US and India. Cultural variations, communication and management styles will be examined for a more in depth look at the ever changing corporate environment.
Cultural Variations Carol Milano (2012) with ASME.org analyzes that in the United States, especially in large cities, a “time is money” attitude is common. Often working professionals appear to be in a rush, which gives the impression that Americans tend to get down to business rather quickly. Many countries have a different perspective and work ethic, where people are not in such a hurry. They may prefer to get to know a colleague before they start working together, which reiterates the fact that teamwork is an area rich in cultural nuance. Some societies, such as Japan, have a strong preference toward collaboration and wanting to be part of a group whereas Americans are often more individually oriented. “It may take a bit of an adjustment for someone to make that shift in order to be comfortable at a U.S. employer” states Milano (2012).
Another sensitive area to be aware of are the different taboos of the world, being conscious of certain words and phrases will help strengthen workplace collaboration. What's considered funny in North America is not necessarily well received or understood in other cultures. Another variable is attention to promptness. Some cultures, even in some different regions of the U.S. may be more informal about time. (Milano, 2012) Managers are more likely to understand how a particular employee is motivated if they have an understanding of their cultural background. This aids in problem solving and more effective team building within an organization. The values of individuals help to introduce what is acceptable and unacceptable in the work environment. (Chaney & Martin, 2014)
Diversity in the US Workforce
In the opinion of Sahar Andrade (2010) with Sahar Consulting, diversity is especially crucial in today’s global marketplace as companies interact with different cultures and clients. The payoffs touch every area of the business by potentially resulting in increased creativity, increased productivity, new attitudes, new language skills, global understanding, new processes, and new solutions to difficult problems. The businesses that fail to see the importance of diversity and inclusion might find that they are unable to attract and retain the kinds of customers, employees, and business partners that constitute our changing world. (Andrade, 2010)
The United States is often thought of as the great melting pot where anyone from any background can assimilate into a single society, according to Alicia Kenyon (2005). Most Americans hold the belief that everyone is of equal worth and entitled to the same privileges and opportunities, regardless of race, gender or age. As Americans continue to value and maintain this cultural expectation, the concept of diversity will infiltrate the workplace and become a necessity to the success of organizations. As American businesses compete in a more global arena, the value of different perspectives and talents will be vital to an organization’s survival and growth. This fundamental belief forces managers to