Ã¯Â¿Â½PAGE Ã¯Â¿Â½ Ã¯Â¿Â½PAGE Ã¯Â¿Â½1Ã¯Â¿Â½ Diversity
July 16, 2007
There are numerous ways in which to define diversity. Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. (Wentling, 1997). A broad definition includes not only race, gender, ethnicity, age, national origin, religion and disability, but may include sexual orientation, values, personality, education, language, physical appearance, marital status, lifestyle, beliefs and background characteristics.
There is a significant increase in women and minority populations in the workplace; Americans continue to mature; an increasing number of minority youths are becoming part of the workforce; gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals are becoming an important part of the workforce and marketplace; people with disabilities are also increasingly entering the labor force; and more business is becoming global.
(Wentling, 1997). Nearly half of all workers will be women, and more than a quarter will likely be members of minority races. About 40% of the work force will be over 45 years of age and only about 15% of new entrants will be the young white males (Labich, 1996). And yet another statistic, the Hispanic population is quickly becoming the largest minority group in the United States and the fastest growing ethnic faction in the civilian labor force (Forst, 1997). With these changes marching forward ever so rapidly, it is no wonder that management must battle to stay on top of diversity issues.
Diversity is fast becoming the corporate watchword of the decade--not because corporations are becoming kinder and gentler toward culturally diverse groups but because they want to survive. And in order to...