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What is Diversity Management?
Diversity management concerns management activities aimed at promoting equal opportunities for diverse members of an organization. It is a subset of Human Resources Management.
Managing diversity is also linked to strategy and the creation of competitive advantage. Diverse knowledge, skills, and perspective can be very valuable to the organization. This can lead to improved organizational performance in areas such as marketing, product/service development, and customer service.
What are the Categories of Organizational Diversity?
- Surface Level – This includes readily obvious characteristics of the employee – such as gender, race, color, age, national origin, disability, and ethnicity.
- Deep-Level – This includes non-obvious demographic differences, such as socio-economic status, background, experience, physical attractiveness or status, education, intellect, and outlook.
What are the primary Challenges in Managing Diversity?
- Bias – Individuals may be biased by their backgrounds, experience, and exposure.
- Prejudice – Individuals often show prejudice toward individuals different from themselves. This can cause disadvantage for certain groups.
- Stereotyping – This concerns making assumptions about an individual’s personality, disposition, perceptions, values, beliefs, and abilities based upon their class or status.
- Discrimination – This is the act of treating individuals differently based upon a defined characteristic.