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Diversification Within American Organizations

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Diversification within American Organizations

The United States has the most diverse and multicultural population ever known to man. The symbolic metaphor "the melting pot," strongly states that the major problem organizations face in American society is a diverse personnel with different economical status, beliefs, and cultural background; because of this, operating an organization in American society is a very complex task.

For many years, researchers struggled with the concept of finding the perfect organizational structure to meet the need of the employee and the demands of society. However, research has consistently shown because of historical American idealism that individuals choose to interact more often with members of their own cultural groups or identity rather it's gender, physical, race, or religious base. This type of interaction makes managing a diverse work force a major challenge for managers in the 21st century.

This paper will examine diversification from four important issues facing today and future American corporations: Gender, Disability, Ethnicity, and Religion. The four issues are protected by Federal and State laws and enforce by Federal and State courts. Since Americans are comprised of individuals from various countries, and different ethnicities many organizations have begun to embrace diversification in the workplace.

Diversification within American Organizations (GENDER)

The study of organizations shows the significant differences and similarities of groups. American organizations have recognized that the composition a workforce or any organization, is beginning to reflect the composition of American society. Diversity of gender is one that is characterized by rolls of a person or persons. Research has shown that men and women are equal in terms of learning ability, memory, reasoning ability, creativity, and intelligence (Gibson, 96). Some people regard issues of treatment of various employee groups, such as those based on gender, race, and sexual orientation as primarily an issue of moral fairness.

Women should be given the same career opportunities as men; homosexual couples should be given the same health insurance benefits as heterosexual couples. American society and culture has changed considerably on these issues over the last 150 years (when women were not allowed to vote and slavery was still practiced), and organizations are asked to not only follow but to lead the way. However, many managers would counter that organizations are not supposed to change American society. They are supposed to manufacture goods and provide services for money. Their responsibilities are to their stockholders, not women's groups. In our media-intensive culture it is not difficult to find differing opinions. The difficulty lies in deciding which opinions to agree with and which experts seems the most creditable. As society places more of an emphasis on equal opportunity and treatment, many disparities will disappear.

A well-known Dutch researcher by the name of Geert Hofstede developed a study to determine how cultures are similar in different. In this research he developed four dimension tools. One of these tools was the Masculinity-Femininity tool. Hofstede used the term masculinity to designate the degree to which a culture emphasizes assertiveness, dominance, and independence. He also used the term Femininity to describe how culture tends to favor such values as interdependence, compassion, and emotional openness (Gibson, 63). His theory is that work in cultures can be divided on the basis of a masculine-feminine dimension. Men had jobs that emphasizes power, authority, and responsibility and women were suppose carry roles such as teaching, caring for patients, and helping the les fortunate. Others see the issues of diversity primarily in strategic terms. Organizations compete for human resources and as the workforce becomes more diverse, organizations will have to serve the diverse needs of this workforce or they will lose them to their competitors. Organizations that discriminate against women are forced to select workers from a smaller pool, reducing their ability to find top performers. At the same time, some managers would point out that increased diversity could cause management problems. For example, having more women has meant more problems with sexual harassment. Increased diversity brings with it the need for more flexibility, which makes management more complicated (e.g., scheduling, compensation plans.

Gender diversity recognizes that in order to have a balanced and productive workforce, organizations should foster a nurturing work environment for both women and men. This is important because ignoring the presence and contribution of women in the workforce means that employers would be losing out on a valuable resources. In order to maximize the contribution of the female workforce, employers need to recognize that women employees bring special strengths and, to a certain extent, have different requirements that need to be addressed to realize their full potential. Male managers who have their own stereotypes of working men and women dominate traditional organizational structures. Both of these constituents need to break out of these stereotypes as the changing role of each now defy these stereotypes. Both partners need to establish new working relationships based on a proper appreciation of each party's contribution. Through the year 2005, the Labor Department estimates that half of all labor force entrants will be women. In addition, a third of the labor force will be people of color, and the working population is aging along with the country. In order to hire and promote the best and brightest, in order to compete globally, companies must manage increasingly diverse employee populations.

In the past, many employers made a commitment to fostering diversity, women made significant leeway into professions that had previously been off limits tot them. In 1972, women comprised 3 percent of architects. By 1993, that number had climbed to 18.6 percent (Braun, 206). In 1972, women were 10 percent of all physicians, but by 1993, that number had grown to 22 percent (Braun, 206.) In 1972 women made only 4 percent of all lawyers, a number that grew to 23 percent by 1993 (Braun, 206). The workplace is not the only source of accusations of gender bias. Some researchers contend that the justice department routinely demonstrates bias against one gender or another (Braun, 204). A 1994 law passed by Congress to protect the civil rights of victims of gender-motivated violence.

Society's point of view is not a stable diagnosis of how different genders are or should



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