Workplace Diversity Initiatives

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Workplace Diversity Initiatives

        Diversity in the workplace is something that shows what a company stands for and its values. It can be something that positively or negatively effects an organization. In medium and larger organizations diversity is something that is almost always present, so it can be a very important issue. There are so many issues and liabilities that can be associated with diversity, so any conflicts regarding diversity must be handled with extreme care and caution. There are many types of diversity present in all organizations and companies across the globe. Some of the most common ones are age, gender, race and ethnicity, disabilities/abilities, religion, LGTB, as well as many others. If approached and handled correctly, diversity should be embraced in an organization as it can be greatly beneficial. There are many ways to approach diversity in the workplace and our e-text highlights four of these as: Top Management Commitment to Diversity, Mentoring, Diversity Skills Training, and Employee Resource Groups (Robbins & Coulter, 2016, p. 142-144). These four concepts can be thought of as the four workplace diversity initiatives, and all are key in having successful workplace diversity. I have researched and investigated three different companies to learn about how they use these four concepts. The companies I have chosen to research are the company I work for, Bartran Construction, as well as Texas Health Resources, a hospital system out of Arlington, Texas and Marriot International.

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        Bartran Construction is a local small to medium sized home builder based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. The company has been around since the sixties and has practically built half of Fort Collins homes, so there are strong values and ethics weaved within the company. I have worked for the company for six months now and have seen some of the diversity initiatives in action first hand. Since we are a smaller company compared to some of the national organizations with thousands of workers, diversity isn’t quite as prevalent but is definitely still present. Some types of diversity that are distinguished in this company are age, gender, as well as LGTB. The age range of the employees is from 20-60’s, with most of the employees being over 40. In fact, I am the only employee under the age of 30, so there is a large age gap taking place between me and the majority of the other employees. The older employees of the company diminish this diversity of age by often taking me out to lunch and including me in all conversations and meetings. A diversity initiative used in this situation was mentoring. Some of the older more experienced employees took me under their wing and showed me the ropes. These techniques made me feel just as included and important as any other employee in the company. The other type of diversity prevalent in this company is sexual orientation and gender identity. One of the accountants is a lady who had a female life partner, aka lesbian. This type of diversity can be a touchy subject and I noticed that the company and employees did an excellent job handling this diversity. As a fellow employee it is key to make sure that you don’t say or do anything that would put this other employee in a hurtful or rejecting situation. I think the best diversity initiative in this case is diversity skills training, which upper level management did a great job in preparing and education all employees on important diversity skills. The only thing this company isn’t up to par on in my opinion is Employee Resource Groups. It would make a much more enjoyable working environment and bring the entire team closer if there was some sort of resource group or even some company events.

        The next organization that I researched regarding diversity initiatives is Texas Health Resources, which is a hospital system out of Arlington, Texas. Diversity is a huge part of what this company stands for and they fully embrace diversity in every aspect of their organization. The hospital systems workforce is made up of 77% women and 41% minorities. This alone shows how much the company embraces diversity. With such a large diverse environment, it is very important to make sure that all employees are included regardless of their diverse background they have. As mentioned before the best way to do this is with the diversity initiatives. The most prevalent diversity initiative that this organization uses is a top management commitment to diversity. The company offers English classes to anyone interested in learning it as their second or more language. They also provide special benefits to same-sex partners. And on top of that they host over 32 events and gathering a year to assist in connecting individuals of all different backgrounds and orientations. This is how you successfully use the diversity initiatives in order to make all employees feel of the same importance and include everybody in a healthy workplace environment.

        The third and final company I researched that demonstrates excellent workplace diversity initiatives is the Marriot International company. Marriot International is a company where African American, Latino, and other minorities make up 64% of the workforce. 2.7 % of the workforce identifies as LGBT, with some even in executive positions. Marriot is a company who charismatically uses all of the diversity initiatives out there and probably even makes up some of their own. One of them displayed in action is top management commitment to diversity. The Marriot President and CEO Arne Sorenson published an open letter on LinkedIn saying, Everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or identity, gender, race, religion disability or ethnicity should have an equal opportunity to get a job, start a business or be served by a business. Use your leadership to minimize divisiveness around these areas by letting people live their lives and by ensuring that they are treated equally in the public square. This is true upper level management commitment to diversity. It is easier to get the entire workforce on the same page of diversity commitment when the highest position of the company is an active enthusiast.

Resources

  • How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2016/12/05/diversity-inclusion-workplaces/
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Workplace Diversity Initiatives. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved December 2, 2022 , from
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