Managing Diversity and Equality at work
Diversity is commonly used to describe the differences between people. Promoting and supporting diversity within a workplace provides an important aspect of people management, valuing everyone in an organisation as individuals.
“Diversity presents great opportunity for organisations to innovate and to improve their performance both domestically and abroad.” – (Triana, 2017)
The ability to manage business diversity enforces a higher performing workforce. Diversity recognises that all people are different; from different backgrounds, cultures and different traits and beliefs, as well as encouraging and using those differences to create an interconnected community and effective workforce. Diversity is about valuing who the person is and where they come from, not what they offer.
When managing organisational change, there are many concepts an organisation focuses on like its customers, markets and technology, and diversity within a workplace. It is thought that for an organisation to survive change, it is faced with globalisation, consolidation, technology or legislations. Without managing the frequent changes in an organisation, this effect could be never ending and may cost the organisation in the long run. It is important that the organisation and HR understand the potential issues that relate to change to provide support and support the change happening throughout the organisation, resolving any current or further issues happening.
Equal opportunities at work facilities are required at every stage of employment including the pre-employment phase. To enforce equal opportunities, society should do all it can to level the playing field so that individuals who are working in the same role and have relevant potential will equal out to a group of candidates competing for the same position; leading to a diverse workforce holding mutual working abilities. Equal opportunity benefits organisations as it encourages development of technology and knowledge and growth of employment. Consequently, providing a continuous competitive advantage with growing development each day.
Legal Framework and Regulations
Legal framework is anything under or to do with the law, underlining the responsibilities for all authorities and organisations. Anti-discrimination laws are made to enforce fair treatment of employees; this is covered through the Equality Act 2010, Human Right Act 1998 and Age Discrimination Act 2006. These acts strengthen protection and lay out the ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone. These set out guidelines to ensure organisations follow set rules and regulations on how to treat staff equally without discriminating against culture, age, sex, religion and many more. These are known as protections of characteristics. These laws accommodate with the British values of democracy, respect, dignity and following the law itself. However, although these are laws, it is thought that not all organisations adopt these laws.
Common Diversity Issues
According to a recent survey, 40% of people believe that an organisation will hire men over women. This has also been stated that men are 30% more likely to be promoted to a managerial position than women. This then leads to the statistic that men earn approximately 24.1% higher base pay than women. Also, this is a statistic, the Equality Act has changed the differences in pay between men and women. With a rise of women in a workplace, employers need to make sure they are preventing any mishaps of gender discrimination and maintain equality regarding hiring, salary, opportunities and promotions.
Acceptance and Respect
Respect is the fundamental value that contributes to a successfully diversified workplace among employees and employers. Conflict can arise if there is a lack of acceptance of the diverse culture and belief among employees. Sometimes this conflict can turn into animosity and could lead to violence. By being able to accept and respect individuals differences, it results in a sharing of ideas and effective collaborations. By providing diversity training, this will help employees understand, accept and respect each other’s differences.
Accommodation of Beliefs
Diversity within this area can sometimes cause a challenging diverse workplace. Employees need to be reminded that they shouldn’t impose their beliefs and thoughts on others to stop spats and disputes. It is important to keep their ethics and personal beliefs separate to their work responsibilities and duties and not everyone will share the shame beliefs or thoughts in the workplace.
Physical & Mental Disabilities
It is important for organisations to accommodate for employees or individuals with physical or mental disabilities. Being supportive of your peers will avoid any discrimination or derogatory remarks. By being able to provide a fair and comfortable workplace for employees helps towards the success of the business whilst also creating a more diverse workplace.
Language & Communication
Within a diverse workplace, this barrier can be very common. With an employee whose first language isn’t English, this may lead to miscommunication and productivity loss. A way to get around this barrier could be including language training within a workplace. However, it is evident that hiring multilingual or bilingual employees can also help bridge a gap.
By being able to increase diversity in the workplace will benefit the organisation in the long run. In fact, a more diverse workforce performs 35% above national industry medians.
Chloe Mellers, Account Manager
0845 838 2014