Diversity in the Workplace

Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on diversity in the workplace. Prejudice is a means of thinking or feeling about a person, and is usually negative. An example of this could be the idea that black people are lazy and would rather collect welfare than work for an honest day’s wages. Having this idea and holding it to be true, this same person may discriminate against a black person applying for a position, especially if welfare statistics can back up this perception. And these two things combined lead to racism, which is a belief that contests that people are supposed be in different categories with some being better than others (Pascale). The major problem with having prejudices about certain kinds of people is that it can hold an organization back from being the very best that it can be whether it is a little league baseball team or a Fortune 500 company. The reason for this is because when a group only selects the finest candidates within a certain criteria, it excludes a portion of the population. This is why the idea of a master race cannot work. When a group that only has tall blue-eyed men with blonde hair face off against another group that builds itself based on blind meritocracy, which is a system where the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement alone (Merriam-Webster), the favor falls not in the hands of the most attractive, but the most able. While this latter team may have members who are obese, in wheelchairs, and women of several ethnic backgrounds, the former has only those that appear to be the most aesthetically pleasing according to a narrow standard. The result is that while one team may appear to be very uniform, the other will have a wider array of appeal when it comes to maintaining and growing its customer base. The reason it is important to have diversity is not only for the benefit of those who deserve an opportunity based on their qualifications, but because the organization deserves to have such people. Having a variety of people is going to lead to a variety of customers. For example, a person who is handicapped may be a member of the Disabled American Veterans. An African American employee may be a contributor to the magazine Black Enterprise, which could lead to an article about the company in the magazine, potentially reaching thousands of readers who had never heard of the company before. While the team of blonde and blue men is looking very proper, they end up having trouble selling in areas like Spanish Harlem, especially when a Latino woman from that neighborhood is working her contacts. In the end, inclusion, not exclusion, is where the power lies when it comes to a successful workplace. In today’s job market, the elderly are discriminated against (Otts), and this practice is short-sighted. Many older people have skills and abilities that can only come from experience, and when a group is discriminated against simply it fits into a superficial category, the result is that the discriminating company takes a big risk at losing what these workers have to offer while the competition may pick them up and all of their experience with them. Works Cited “Types of Discrimination.” U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. U.S. Government, 2011. Web. 8 May 2011. . Pascale, Christopher.

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