Diversity management aims at providing tangible benefits to the company. Diversity management is seen as a business strategy aimed at tapping into the full potential of all employees in the company in order to give the company a competitive advantage whereas in the past, employees of different backgrounds (e.g., race/ethnicity or gender) were labeled as unqualified by managers if they did not conform to values and norms of the majority. The logic of diversity management is that it allows every member of the organization to bring to the workplace his or her unique perspective, benefiting the organization as a whole.
Expected benefits of diversity management include such outcomes as broad appeal to diverse clients because diverse employees communicate better with diverse, better products because diversity of opinions leads to creativity, and improved sales because diverse employees better understand the needs of diverse clients.
Benefits of diversity management
Benefits of diversity to organisations can be featured in three main points:
- First, the voluntary nature of diversity management means that it may not last during economic difficulties. It has been reported that, if organisations must choose among competing expenditures, diversity programs may be reduced or removed because it takes too long to reap their benefits.
- Second, the broad definitions of diversity mean that vulnerable people- such as racial minority groups, people with disabilities and women- may not enjoy the protection they merit because the resources have to be divided among many groups.
- Third, the practical benefits denote that, once it is realised that diversity is the principle of giving tangible benefits to organisations, as well as based on moral and ethical obligations to diversity.
Further benefits of strategic management of diversity include improved employee relations and securing new sources of talent. Similarly, McLauren argued that an organisation with a good reputation for workplace diversity has a higher chance of attracting and retaining the best available talent in the market. Strategic management of diversity can also lead to a work environment in which conflicts are less likely to arise.
Problems with diversity management
It is difficult to implement diversity management in organizations based on stereotypes and prejudices. One should pay attention to "the level of individual behaviours, as well as recruitment, promotion procedures and tools or balance between professional and personal life to employees (men and women), who may intentionally or unconsciously discriminate peers and subordinates or the barriers for equality and diversity may be a result of formal and informal structures inside the organization.
- M.E. Barak 2013, p.231
- J. Law 2016, p.198
- E. Chidiac 2018, p.302
- C. Quaiser-Pohl, V. Ruthsatz 2013, p.9
- Barak M.E., (2013), Managing Diversity, SAGE, New Delhi.
- Chidiac E., (2018), Strategic Management of Diversity in the Workplace, Routledge, New York.
- Law J., (2016), A Dictionary of Business and Management, Oxford University Press, New York.
- Quaiser-Pohl C., Ruthsatz V., (2013), Diversity and Diversity Management in Education: A European Perspective, Waxmann Verlag, Berlin.
Author: Adam Jawor