General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Diversity is a strength, but managing diversity in organizations requires additional efforts. How important is this in your organization?

Asked by mattbrowne (31600points) May 2nd, 2009

From Wikipedia: The “business case for diversity”, theorizes that in a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc.) is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics.

An additional corollary suggests that a company that supports the diversity of its workforce can also improve employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. This portion of the business case, often referred to as inclusion, relates to how an organization utilizes its various relevant diversities. If a workforce is diverse, but the employer takes little or no advantage of that breadth of that experience, then it cannot monetize whatever benefits background diversity might offer.

What is your opinion? How diverse is your company or organization? Does it matter to you?

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10 Answers

prasad's avatar

Though I’m not working as an employee, the company where I’m doing my masters project has quite diverse employees. In India, every state has different language and cultures, and diversity within states also.
Personally, I like to work within diverse environment, not only within one state or country but also different countries.
I would also like to work with aliens!:)

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I think with more companies, projects, orginizations, etc. it’s rarely a bad thing to embrace diversity. The main benefit obviously being that you are able to tap a larger pool of varying opinions on any given subject. The only downside is, different people naturally have different ideologies, and often times those conflict with themselves. I’m still a student, my school isn’t as diverse as I would like it, but I live in a city that’s very diverse with plenty of different cultures and lifestyles, so it makes up for it.

_bob's avatar

Very. I work for a company that employs 50,000 people in 17 different countries. It’s complicated.

Lupin's avatar

In my previous life, I worked for a large company that spent a lot of time and money promoting it. We had divisions in many countries.
In engineering, we didn’t care if someone was from Mars as long as they could write Matlab code, run a CFD simulation, or KIVA, ADAMS or… the info that really made the product work. Maybe the company should have spent a little less on diversity training and a little more on hard sciences. It’s teetering on disaster now.
My new small company only cares if you are a technical self starter, and can write a good Comsol multiphysics routine in a reasonable time without a lot of questions. I don’t care about race, gender, or even species.
This is not a plug for anyone to send in a resume. I’ve got it under control.

wildflower's avatar

Very. I work for a global company and diversity is everywhere, from voluntary special interest groups to cultural training on our employee development portal…

Response moderated
filmfann's avatar

I work for the phone company, and they treat everyone like shit, without regard for your heritage.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

In my business, diversity is welcome, all walks of life and experiences are welcome because they bring tools for communication the whole can share and adapt. Every advantage a person has will be put into play, developed and honed for the benefit of selling the company which in turn makes money for the individuals.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, it can get complicated, but the opportunities are huge. German project managers for example appreciate very direct answers including a simple ‘No’. Indian software engineers for example don’t use simple ‘No’ answers. British colleagues talk about ‘slight problems’ and for some it takes a while to figure out the details. Knowing about the subtle differences helps a lot.

wundayatta's avatar

I work at a place that likes to call itself “diversity university.” Some people quarrel with that notion, but still, it’s probably more diverse than most. The university places great value on being a part of the community, and of being a place that is comfortable for all. They provide harassment training, but I’ve never had to go to diversity training. There are “racism” classes in every department. We think we are raising the issues and working on them. Some would disagree, I suppose. There are always complainers. I think our diversity is a strength, and helps us do better work.

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