It can be considered ironic that the concept of diversity is rather diverse itself since scholars have presented significantly varying approaches over time. First, factor or categorical approaches consider diversity a personal attribute of individuals, which form the basis for identity distinctions within groups (Roberson, 2019, p. 73). For example, these attributes can be divided into more easily observable — race, gender, age — and less observable, such as education and professional background. Secondly, proportional approaches define diversity as a structural property of groups, which affects social interactions within them (Roberson, 2019, p. 73). Lastly, multidimensional approaches reconcile categorical and proportional takes on diversity by capturing the complexity and dynamism of identities in different configurations, as well as the effects they have on groups and organizations (Roberson, 2019, p. 74). Therefore, for the purposes of this work, workplace diversity will be defined as the characteristics and identities of individual employees, which influence organizational performance.
Regarding the employee benefits, a diverse working environment provides two major advantages. According to Cletus et al. (2018), diversity enhances critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the organization. As a result, a diverse workplace offers employees of different ages, genders, and ethnicities an opportunity to share their professional and personal views openly. Due to this opportunity, the employees are likely to feel more appreciated and valued. In addition, enhanced problem-solving processes make possible more sound and constructive workplace conflict resolution, since even biases and prejudices serve as valuable lessons (Cletus et al., 2018). Furthermore, workplace diversity boosts the potential for employee growth and development. If an organization employs a diverse workforce, it creates extra possibilities for acclimatizing to new circumstances, as employees learn how to adapt to differences in cultural and personal backgrounds. As such, employees who work in diverse environments may become better suited for addressing various tasks and issues (Cletus et al., 2018). Overall, diverse workplaces are beneficial for employees’ well-being, personal and professional development.
In addition, the promotion of workplace diversity is beneficial for organizations from several perspectives. Most importantly, employing a diverse workforce can improve corporate attractiveness since diversity is widely recognized as a positive feature. According to Cletus et al. (2018), companies that hire and retain employees of diverse backgrounds receive favorable attention from the media and society. The second significant benefit of diversity is an enhanced potential for innovations (Cletus et al., 2018). Employees of different backgrounds and diverse skills possess the ability to generate innovative ideas and concepts, which can be specifically tailored to new markets and target audiences. Given these factors, investments in a diverse corporate environment can be considered both ethical and practical.
Apple Inc. is an example of a company that declares commitment to the principle of workplace diversity and genuinely implements it in reality. For instance, Apple actively supports LGBTQ employees to reduce possible fears and anxiety around their sexuality. Furthermore, Apple creates a comfortable working environment for employees of different religions (Olewiler, 2019). In regard to benefits for the organization, Apple has achieved a steady growth of net income since the company increased the representation of ethnic minorities (Olewiler, 2019). This success can be attributed to increased brand attractiveness since more potential customers could associate themselves with the company and its products. Overall, Apple’s senior management skillfully implemented the workplace diversity concept, with both employees and the organization benefitting from the changes.
Finally, it is necessary to explore managerial practices that set an organization on the path of diversity. Ng and Sears (2020) conducted a survey of CEOs and HR managers from 286 organizations and found that HR managers’ interpretation of CEOs’ diversity efforts plays an integral role in establishing a diverse working environment. In addition, CEOs’ genuine commitment is necessary for fostering workplace diversity. However, HR managers might misinterpret CEOs’ actions or face other organizational demands and become unable to implement diversity practices (Ng & Sears, 2020). Therefore, a CEO who wants to strengthen diversity in the organization must show the subordinates that they are truly committed to the cause and explicitly encourage HR managers to enact the necessary changes.
In summary, practices that foster workplace diversity can be considered beneficial from ethical and practical perspectives. On the one hand, workplace diversity improves employee experience with the organization. On the other hand, the organization boosts its public image, which is beneficial for business reputation. Overall, adopting workplace diversity creates favorable conditions for business development and corresponds well with modern trends of social justice and corporate social responsibility.
Cletus, H. E., Mahmood, N. A., Umar, A., & Ibrahim, A. D. (2018). Prospects and challenges of workplace diversity in modern-day organizations: A critical review. HOLISTICA–Journal of Business and Public Administration, 9(2), 35-52. Web.
Ng, E. S., & Sears, G. J. (2020). Walking the talk on diversity: CEO beliefs, moral values, and the implementation of workplace diversity practices. Journal of Business Ethics, 164(3), 437-450. Web.
Olewiler, B. (2019). Exploring diversity in the workplace. Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects, 1-16.
Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6, 69-88. Web.
Appendix. Business Letter
Dear CEO’s name,
I am writing you regarding the potential benefits of investments in the implementation of workplace diversity practices. This course of action would be beneficial both for the organization’s interests and employees’ work satisfaction rates. On the organizational level, new workplace diversity practices will further improve our company’s public image. We will be seen as a paragon of moral values, a modern enterprise that is not held back by outdated thinking. As a result, it will become possible to attract additional positive attention from the media and the general public. The potential boost for our organization’s reputation will be advantageous for establishing new business contacts. Moreover, hiring a diverse workforce will enhance the innovative potential of the staff and create new opportunities for tailoring our products to international audiences.
We will also improve employee performance and retention rates since staff members will appreciate a fair, just, and inclusive working environment. We can expect that workplace conflicts will occur less frequently and be resolved in a constructive, trouble-free manner. Furthermore, diversity in the workplace will significantly reduce any fears and anxiety that might be impairing our employees’ performance. After that, staff members will get a better chance for steady professional growth and development. In addition, we will be able to prevent the possible turnover of talented staff members to our competitors.
I thank you in advance and hope you will consider this proposal.