Unit 1: Business Culture and Responsibilities
Learning Outcome: 02
Task 2.1 Explain what is meant by ‘diversity in the business context
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.
“Diversity” means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating differences. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:
- Understanding and appreciating the interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
- Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
- Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
- Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
- Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.
Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.
As workforce demographics shift and global markets emerge, workplace diversity inches closer to becoming a business necessity instead of a banner that companies wave to show their commitment to embracing differences and change. Employees reap tangible and intangible benefits from workplace benefits, not the least of which include respect from co-workers and business gains.
Task 2.2 Recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce
It is becoming more common day by day to see diverse workplaces. It helps the company in many ways. Promoting inclusiveness and diversity within your workplace is one of the best ways to foster an open-minded, global company culture. Not only does this make good business sense, helping the company to better understand colleagues, clients, and customers around the world. It also makes the workplace a more interesting and personally enriching environment for everyone. Whether people are working at a small start-up or are part of a large multinational corporation, the benefits of diversity in the workplace are equally compelling in today’s globalized business environment. And diversity can take many forms, from culture and nationality to gender, race, sexuality, educational background, and more.
The benefits of having a diverse workplace know no bounds. Some ways are mentioned below:
Diversity leads to Higher Morale: When diversity is managed well, and employees are subject to cross-cultural or diversity and inclusion training, the result is that all people feel validated and considered important no matter their differences. Giving employees the opportunity to work with people who bring different skills and views to the table helps them recognize that everyone is important for different reasons. Feeling valued improves the morale of each worker and promotes positivity in the workplace.
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Diversity gives a company Different Perspectives: When people from different backgrounds and cultures work together, they are exposed to varying viewpoints and ideas. This helps people become accustomed to hearing and sharing different perspectives and presenting their ideas. Allowing culturally diverse employees to brainstorm brings a wide variety of solutions to the table. Solutions based on different experiences and schools of thought. With more ideas to choose from, the chances of finding the best possible final solution are improved.
Diversity has a Global Impact: In an increasingly globalized economy, workforces that are culturally diverse can help companies expand their business. Being able to communicate effectively in different parts of the world is a key benefit, as well as knowing how to create relationships and understand the cultural nuances and differences in doing business in foreign countries. With a workforce that understands these concepts, you create the opportunity to effectively develop your business in a global market.
Diversity increases a company’s Community Relations: Many communities are becoming increasingly diverse. It’s important that companies recognize this and mimic the communities that they serve. Companies need to be able to communicate effectively with customers and understand their needs, no matter the customer’s language or culture. Having people on staff who have the background and skills to do so are vital to an organization. Communities and customers also prefer to engage with those that employ people who are similar to them. For this reason, hiring and managing diverse cultures is an advantage in a competitive market space.
Culturally diverse workers are one of the greatest assets your business can have. Although workplace diversity comes with some challenges, the benefits more than outweigh the difficulties you may encounter, especially with the use of proper management techniques and training……………