In today's culture and workforce, diversity of age is one factor of life creating issues such as discrimination, ethics, lifestyle and values. To better understand the impact of diversity of age, it is necessary to define "diversity". Not everyone agrees on what the definition should be. Wellner (2000) states the definition in Webster's dictionary as "the condition of being different or having differences."
Several Acts have been passed in the past forty years to protect specific groups of people from this exact deed: discrimination of diversity. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination based on race, gender, national origin and religion. Age was covered with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, yet people with disabilities weren't allowed on the diversity wagon until the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 (Wellner, 2000, p. 2). In essence, these Acts constitute and guarantee diversity in the workforce within themselves.
Diversity is not just race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age or disability. It also has differences that fall into a separate category called secondary dimensions of diversity: educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, and so on. The fact is the majority of U.S. companies are still caught up in worrying about discrimination on the basis of primary differences to bother with these secondary dimensions. However, by some measures, the situation is growing worse. A recent U.S. Department of Justice study found that the number of civil rights cases filed in U.S. district courts increased dramatically between 1990, when 9 percent of all cases filed were civil rights-related, and 1998, when that proportion rose to 17 percent. Most of that increase was fueled by employment cases, which nearly tripled during the 90's. So
how can we acknowledge and value our differences so that all...