Social Issues / Corporate Diversity Program

Corporate Diversity Program

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Autor:  anton  30 October 2010
Tags:  Corporate,  Diversity,  Program
Words: 2019   |   Pages: 9
Views: 426

CORPORATE DIVERSITY PROGRAM

My company is one of the leading suppliers and distributors of HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning). We are a rather large company, with approximately one hundred employees, somewhat diverse, and also quite profitable. Recently, I received a memo stating that a diversity program was to be established. Diversity is certain qualities in other people that are different than your own. It could be age, gender, race, ethnic background, or sexual preference. It even includes income, religion, and education. A diversity program is intended to center on issues surrounding work relationships. It is meant to explore the specialties and uniqueness of diverse individuals.

The workplace needs all types of diversity. It is said to have a positive effect. We need diversity to become more inventive and open to change. The article “We’d Love To Hire Them, But…” on page 311 of Ore‘s “The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality“ focuses on race and employment. Evidence from studies suggest that expectations on certain groups can strongly influence job placement. The production of a worker is shaped by relationships with co-workers. Potential and existing employees are not only evaluated by race, but also by their class. This seems to occur less often, only because class is more difficult to distinguish. It is not easily observed, but detected to employers by one’s clothing, educational background, speech, skills, and place of residence. Productivity coincides with social relationships. It seems as though behavior, not only job skills, are closely related to effective communications between employees and employers. It has also been suggested that good relations between workers causes higher productivity and increased morale and corporate loyalty.

Corporation is defined in the dictionary as an organized body, especially a business, that has been granted a state charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own rights, privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of the individuals within the entity. A corporation can acquire assets, enter into contracts, sue or be sued, and pay taxes in its own name. Corporations issue shares of stock to individuals supplying ownership capital and issue bonds to individuals lending money to the business. The corporation is a desirable organization for a business entity for a variety of reasons including the increased capability such an entity has to raise capital. Most large firms, especially those engaged in manufacturing, are organized as corporations. All stocks sold in the primary market and traded in the secondary market are shares of corporate ownership. It also included the definition of a “stakeholder” as any party that has an interest in an organization. Stakeholders of a company include stockholders, bondholders, customers, suppliers, employees, and so forth.

Page 321 of “The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality” contains an article that is titled, “The Glass Escalator.” It starts by stating that the sex segregation in the workforce is a major issue in our society. Women face barriers when they try to enter male-dominated occupations. A key term discussed in the writing is the “glass ceiling.”

Many women are restrained by invisible walls that limit promotion in their professions, mainly due to men with sexist outlooks in the higher positions. Men who try to enter female positions also face many challenges. Men were actually excluded from certain jobs. Such as the story of a Texas school district that refused to hire a male to teach the lower grades. Men seem to be promoted in order to keep them out of female-dominated careers. There is also a related term known as the “glass escalator.” This deals with men who face invisible pressures to advance in their careers. As if on an escalator, they must work to stay in the same place. This article also discusses that women tend to play down their gender difference because it is the men that are the source of scorn. They often feel uncomfortable and isolated due to their gender. This type of discrimination drives women out of male-dominated jobs. On the other hand, a male in a non-traditional line of work is viewed as a positive thing. Unsurprisingly, most males said that they felt accepted by their female co-workers.

It is declared that men in female positions must also face stereotypes. The same article gives examples of male nurses being gay, or male teachers being sex offenders. When asked, women teachers answered that they did not encounter any type of prejudice. Men in these professions are also viewed as stepping down a notch in status. Page 329 suggests that this may be the reason why men are under-represented in positions such as nursing, librarian, and teaching. These stereotypes can push men out of these job areas and add to the “glass escalator” by pressuring men to advance and get out of the female-dominated positions.

In addition to the research listed above, there are multiple other reasons why a

diversity program would be beneficial for the company. Firstly, as our company grows,

so does our customer base. As you know, we do business all over the world, and our customer base is vastly diverse. I feel as though by starting this diversity program, we can increase our business profits. Clients do stop in every so often, and I feel if we have a more diverse staff, we would not seem racist or sexist. It is important to make a good impression on potential buyers. Also, as our company continues to expand, so do our competitors. After some research, it has been brought to my attention that many other of our competitors are starting, if they haven’t already, instating their own diversity programs. We need to get a step up on the competition, and I don’t want to get left behind. As this program develops, an improvement in working well with others will cause higher company morale. It is important to mention that it is just the right thing to do.

This diversity program will essentially make more money for our company. A diverse staff attracts diverse customers, therefore, broadening our markets. For example, over the last decade, Hispanics, Latinos, and even Blacks are significantly growing. The article “Conscious Choice” also claims that many companies are implementing diversity programs so that different people can work well together. The article states that the Asian population doubled, Latinos’ grew by fifty percent, Native Americans’ by thirty percent, and blacks even grew by thirteen percent over the last decade. The white population actually decreased by approximately three percent. This research gives insight into why it would be a good idea to start a diversity program of our own.

The article also states that many people lack experience and comfort with people

who are (culturally) different than themselves. By starting this diversity program,

employees will experience working with people who are completely dissimilar. This will

make it more comfortable and easier for workers to interact with all different types of individuals as time passes. This same piece suggests that workers know that a diversity program would enrich all of us, but it is the simple matter of getting it started. So I am going to get this started. The first step is just acknowledging, understanding, and accepting the diversity in class, values, lifestyles, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual preference as the article mentions.

We have developed a comprehensive diversity program. Firstly, we are going to re-arrange the sales groups. Each group will consists of six members, as diverse as possible. The groups will contain both veterans and rookies and it will be up to the team to teach each other. In order to create inter-action outside of each group, there will now be two separate lunch hours. Three employees from each group will go for one hour, the other three for the next. Also, each group will be given customer accounts from over-seas, to strengthen relationships with customers. Now that we have an idea of some of the changes, it is important to consider what the new program will achieve. Increased profits in each group and in the company as a whole is what we will be monitored. It is important that our staff recognize the positive value of a diverse workforce in our business.

Due to the changes, we are instituting serious anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, which will allow the staff to balance life and work. The company will also provide social activities outside of the workplace to encourage the diverse staff to interact on a personal level. As stated in the article “Diversity Guidelines,” it is

important to have an environment that is free of any types of harassment. The best way to

start this is to provide the staff with training and education on diversity and human rights in general.

Our company will have a profile of our employees, which will include each individual’s sales, in order to help with data. We have also developed a few strategies in order to achieve our objectives. We now will have executives who are going to be accountable for the diversity program. They are there to support and model our new program. The article “Diversity Guidelines” suggests that we create opportunities for our employees to be exposed to the executives. We want the management to have a positive effect on our staff. It also suggests that the executives make time to talk individually with each of the employees regularly. This gives the employees an opportunity to ask questions, give ideas, and just get to know their management better. Our strategies are simple, realistic, and measurable. We will be implementing new ideas such as surveys and meetings. This is a clear and easy process for evaluating effectiveness of the program.

Management and staff are going to discuss the new diversity program through workshops. This is intended to have the employees become more familiar and confident with implementing the new strategies. The workshops will include targeted planning, evaluating the program, and ensuring support from management. At business meetings, every member will listen and have a chance to speak, which will encourage dialogue. Along with meetings, social gatherings and workshops, the managers will implement

mentoring programs for newer employees to access information and constructive

criticism. These management tools will be used to educate everyone about diversity and

the issues that go along with a diverse workforce.

Monitoring progress regularly will help show any adjustments that need to be made. This can be done through staff surveys which will indicate attendance and any possible discrimination. We are also going to include progress reports and will accept any feedback from employees. The evaluation process will establish the success of the strategies and will also give insight into why certain problems occurred. Both gross sales and staff perceptions will be incorporated. These evaluation techniques will be useful in either changing existing strategies or creating new ones.

Altogether, the form of evaluating the effectiveness of the diversity program will be based on gross sales. Evaluation will be based on our pre-determined goals, which is that we want to the company to increase total profit. Also, the fact that we want a more diverse workforce. The evaluation process is not going to be a simple one. It takes multiple years for the diversity program to become fully effective. The challenge for the next few years is to embrace the cultural changes and using it as a tool to improve productivity.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ore, Tracy E. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality. New York: McGraw Hill, 2003.

Stewart, Lisa. Conscious Choice. Chicago: Dragonfly Media, 2005. http://www.consciouschoice.com/1995-98/cc083/workdiv.html.

“Diversity Guidelines” Ministry of Children and Family Development. 2004 .



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