Cultural Diversity in the Canadian Workplace

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Organizations are becoming more diverse and one important aspect is culture, one important reason for this multicultural environment is that more companies are augmenting their operations world wide and an important consequence of this is the immigration process. In 2016 according to the Permanent Residents Data (IRCC, 2017) Canada receives population from over 200 countries around the world, in consequence the multiculturalism in Canada has occurred due to the huge amount of immigrants coming to the country every year creating an increase in innovation and culture of inclusion, due to this multiculturality, Canada is becoming a stronger country. Nevertheless the incrementation in cultural diversity poses not only a positive impact in your company but also represents that the management team should be able to develop new strategies to manage the diverse workforce and here in Canada there are still inequity disadvantages that hasn't prevent every kind of discrimination, to improve this we need to know the legislation around diversity, examples of companies in the country that provide us with experience in order to make new human resources initiatives.

Diversity is defined by the dissimilarities existing between individuals in any possible characteristic than can show to our own perception that another person is different from us. There are two main areas in which diversity is divided, the first one is the surface level of diversity that are characteristics that are seen in our physical features like age, gender, race and ethnicity, or visible features like physical handicap or weigh problems (anorexia or obesity) and the second area is the deep level diversity that reflects characteristics that can not be immediately seen by the bare eye like personalities, beliefs, attitudes, values, sexual orientation and religion. (Roberge, 2010). Another diversity differences in the workplace are profession, occupation, vocation and expertise. Diversity in the workplace should involve equal rights and favorable circumstances to grow in any company, management should develop strategies for people of marginalized groups to perform and contribute at the same time as people of not marginalized groups, and create equal opportunities at the different levels of the organization.

Discrimination is when someone acts in a perjudicial way towards other people based on the differences that characterized that person or a group.

Ethical and Legal dimensions surrounding diversity

According to Dressler, Chhinzer and Cole (2014) legislation protecting the general population are human rights that in the Canada Constitution Act appeared in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the human right legislation. The Charter gives the following rights and freedoms to every Canadian, that are important to know to later provide a hole background for the legislation in the workplace, the first one is freedom on conscience and religion, the second one is freedom of thought that includes belief and opinion, the third one is freedom of  peaceful assembly and the last one is freedom of association. The Charter also talks about the equality rights that provides equal protection against discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability. On the other had we also have the human rights legislation, that must be wide known by CEOs and managers so they are aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities depending on their jurisdiction, but something that does not change in any province is the prohibition of discrimination against all Canadians in the same range as mentioned before and also against discrimination based on sexual orientation and family status.

Employers are allowed to discriminate if the job characteristics are based on a bona fide occupational requirement (BFOR) that is based the business necessities, for example, to be safe and efficient operation of the organization like if you are blind you can not apply to be an airplane pilot, two Canadian examples where they have apply BFOR is Roman Catholic schools, that their teachers to believe in the Roman Catholic Church for more adherence to the beliefs and culture of the institution and the second example is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police asked for BFOR for the guards to be the same sex as the prisoners being guarded (Dressler, Chhinzer and Cole, 2014).

However enforcement of the human rights is the responsibility of every province in Canada, but there are employers obligations that should be followed in every jurisdiction, the first one is that every company should have an anti discrimination/anti harassment policies, a safe way to complaint on this issues and training for employees to prevent this events, the second one is to have investigation and consequences after the complaints and the third ones is resolving the complaint. After this they have stipulated two solutions if discrimination is found the first one is called Systemic Remedies that involves improve the policies of the company, the complaint should be followed by legislation and prevention of future events by training the employee involved with training. The second solution is called Restitutional Remedies that involves monetary compensation for the complainant and a letter of apology.

Examples of Organizations are successful with diversity or controversy example

To illustrate the problem discrimination based on race, ethnicity and colour is illegal in all provinces in Canada as said before but not so long ago the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found out that to companies of construction had discriminated latin american workers because they were treated differently as the european employees because they were paid less for the same job, the significant low wages difference make the tribunal retribute the workers with $100,000 each.

Programs and initiatives of HR to manage cultural diversity in workplace

Cultural diversity management is very crucial for advantages and cut-throat competitions.  Researchers have been creating relationship among culture and behaviour for almost a century. However, complex culture diversity is still existing in these days.Culture diversity issue will be seen in the upcoming years if management would not overcome religious and cultural differences.

Human Resource Administration and cross culture analysts such as Hofstede, Laurent and Schneider have endeavored both significance and impacts of culture in perspective of human resource methods and to characterize culture. It is broadly recognized that there is absence of hypothetical meticulousness and effects of social issues in the areas of Human Resource Management for example recruitment, hierarchical socialization and beneficial trainings. In late 1980s and the early 1990s, the human resource strategy enabled the adequate administration of the workers who were different from each other by demographic adjustments. In this concept, they emphasized to make atmosphere in which associates can achieve their maximum potential to pursue organizational objectives. They comprised workers who have different characteristics from one another, and theses distinctions focused on visible and hidden elements (Seymen, 2006).

 Cooke and Saini (2012) said that there are various disciplines included: psychology, human science and administration and research strategies like interviews, case studies and lab examinations that marked organizational diversity becomes an issue in concepts and processes of management. Diversity management is observed as a basic component for business accomplishment in Human Resource Management. The primary goal of diversity management is to make culturally diverse organizations in which people with different cultural backgrounds can contribute and can achieve higher potential. Diversity Management is considered as a superior methodology that focuses on admiring unique workers. A diverse workforce can maximize  the development of advanced products and services, improve market share, and enhance base of clients. Managers and human resources management need to develop various fruitful approaches to make culturally open environment in the workplace. Also, Human Resources management should make an open and comprehensive culture-oriented environment, in which everybody helps each other to enroll, and they can show their talents. The three variations such as communication, team building, and time are essential elements to achieve good performance from employees. Organisations can provide cultural competence ability training includes familiarity with own cultures, knowledge about other societies, tolerance states toward social contrasts to mitigate cultural difference problems. It is very important for the managers and workers to ponder why culture-oriented environment is a cutthroat advantage, and how cultural differences are beneficial for better performance. HR has regular job to improve and manage cultural differences in corporations. For instance, they can develop fun games or intelligent recreations on qualities for associates in the workplace. They should support and provide suggestions to adopt another culture and maintain their own culture at the same time. HR should build diversity-based teams because social contrast can construct significant groups (Laurent, 2005).

According to Ratna, Sethi, Abrol, Gupta & Agrawal (2016), it is proposed that the level of learning of a cultural environment is an directly correlated with  HR systems and practices. There is an organization named as Golden Eagle Sagar, the combination of Golden Eagle and Sagar Inc., are confronting issues after combined because of insufficient decent variety administration. It is presumed that companies can utilize two methodologies that can do a good job to manage diverse workforce for instance i.e. training to employees, managers and other employees who work with diverse groups. Investigators examined social measurements, nature of any level of blended culture and significance of humanist factors in the employees of global companies in Africa. The outcomes demonstrated how this organization could enhance its HRM rules and regulations because of perceiving local cultural dimensions in the meantime as reconsidering some difficult problems such as remuneration.

There is another situation of HRM supervisor in the bank of Quebec, Canada. The management of bank involved diverse workforce by expanding ethnic groups and cultural minority portrayal and by decreasing discrimination between employees. HRM methods should be planned and executed to encourage enrollment, selection, integration and growth of cultural diversity. In China. Chinese are affecting the HRM of Italian organizations.

Rewards and Challenges

Culturally diverse workforce has various benefits and consequences for the organizations. The first positive impact is that workers of different cultures have different experiences, thoughts and knowledge which is beneficial to examine any stuff or problem very easily in workplace. Another is, these corporation have great opportunity to spread their business in other nations because management can know about local customs, religions, rules and regulations of other counties by gaining knowledge and information from individual workers. For example, An American company which is trying to expand their business in India can get information about Indian governmental and state levels laws, tax and insurance regulations. Information about the different cultures can reduce the expenses of organization because concerned employees and leaders have in-house trainers and practitioners, so they can save time, money and energy. Culturally diverse workers are useful for the associations to grow business from office to online commercial center. Diversity is helpful to maximize organization's recognitions, approaches, techniques, projection of new item, improvement of promoting plan, production of new thoughts, outline of new activities and appraisal of developing patterns. 

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Cultural Diversity In The Canadian Workplace. (2019, Aug 16). Retrieved April 13, 2024 , from

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