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A diverse workforce is composed of individuals of both sexes and of many races, ethic groups, religion, physical and mental abilities. Before, we thought of diversity as the total number of minority and women in the company, similar to affirmative Action. Today, companies need diversity at every level where decisions are made. The role of a manager is to create an environment where the uniqueness of each employee is maximized. According to the August 1994 issue of Fortune, human resource estimate that only 3 %- 5 % of the US corporations are diversifying their workforce effectively. The article continued by estimating in the millennium, nearly 85 % of the 2. 5 million entering the labor pool will be women, minorities or immigrants: only 15 % of new entrants would be white males.
It makes perfect sense that products and services offered to society should be developed, produced and marketed by a diverse work force. The dangers of ignoring this diversity were illustrated during the summer of 1999. Chief executive Jim Halpin of the largest computer retailer CompUSA began diversifying their marketing strategy after a popular morning radio station accused the company of ignoring black consumers. The matter stemmed from a dispute a year ago involving another media group.
The group advising clients to limit advertising on stations targeting black or Latino audiences (Janelle Carter, 1999). The morning radio talk show encouraged thousands of listeners to send cash register receipts to the station so they could be sent to the president of the company. I was one of those customers. The show also encouraged listeners to call and find out why they were being ignored. Naturally, the protest ended when Halpin appeared on the show to let listeners know they were heard. He also hired several blacks in their marketing and advertisement departments and issued a 10 % discount to all consumers who sent in a proof of purchase.
Another example of diversifying the workforce is Wal- Mart. The world largest retailer is amongst the industry leaders in accomplishing a grounded workforce. Anyone knows upon entering the doors at Wal-mart, a senior citizen might greet you or someone in a wheel chair could greet you. My first week working for the company, I was trained by an associated who was speech impaired.
During that week, I met another associate in the same department who was in a wheel chair. I remember saying to another member of management that I was impressed with the diversity of the store. After traveling to several different stores, I realized that it was apart of Wal-Marts culture to diversify its workforce, from the sales associate to top management. According to the Anti-Defamation League, workforce diversity is about factoring reality, the first responsibility of a manager (Anti-defamation League, 1994). Several suggestion managers should consider are: 1. Make respect for diversity a core value in your company and articulate it as such in the companys handbook/ employees in the organization. 2.
Provide ongoing awareness programs about the value of human diversity for all employees in the organization 3. Create an environment conducive to the exploration of diversity. 4. Learn about co-workers backgrounds and share your own. Ask questions that invite explanation and answer with the same. 5. Create a display area where employees can post notices of events and activities happening in their communities. 6. Take advantage of diversity consultants and training programs such as the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute s to assist you with ongoing education. 7.
Incorporate diversity as a business goal. Secure a high degree of commitment from all employees. Finally, diversity must be recognized and treated as an intricate part of the work force. It is best said by IBM chief Louis V. Gerster Jr. : Our marketplace is made up all races, religion, and sexual orientations and therefore it is vital to success that our work force also be diverse (Faye Rice, 1994). It is up to managers to pay attention to the market and consumers in order to keep to a strong market.
Anti-Defamation League. (1994, June 14). A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Available: web Carter, Janelle. (1999, October 21). CompUSA to hire black ad agency Tom Joyner protest, The Capitol Times, Vol. 2 No. 47 Rice, Faye (1994, August). How to Make Diversity Pay, Fortune, p. 79 - 86 Bibliography: Reference Anti-Defamation League. (1994, June 14). A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE [Online].
Available: web Carter, Janelle. (1999, October 21). CompUSA to hire black ad agency Tom Joyner protest, The Capitol Times, Vol. 2 No. 47 Rice, Faye (1994, August). How to Make Diversity Pay, Fortune, p. 79 - 86
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