Workplace Diversity, 6 Things That Prevent This!

May 2, 2016 Caryn Walsh

Workplace Diversity, 6 Things That Prevent This!

Lets talk about the importance of workplace diversity and the richness it brings to Organisational effectiveness. Why then, do so many Companies struggle to successfully integrate a diverse workforce into their ranks? If workplace diversity is so advantageous, why do so many Organisation’s struggle to implement it successfully?

There are 6 main reasons for this:

The 6 Things That Prevent This!

  1. Discrimination: People judge others and stereo-type each other. Think about your own workplace and reflect on whether this happens. A good example is when a woman is passed over for a promotion because “it’s a man’s job and she has children to go home to”. This may not happen in your company, however it covertly happens in many
  2. Prejudice: People act prejudiced against each other, or against a particular racial group or gender. Prejudice against a disabled or pregnant woman are two examples
  3. Inflexibility: Our minds are made up about other people and we are so inflexible in our thinking that we are not prepared to ‘give them a go’ or encourage them to greater heights in their career. Research indicates that this is more prevalent in management positions.
  4. Communication difficulties: Speaking different languages is often a barrier to effective communication and working well together.
  5. Historical barriers: Organisational culture takes a long time to take effect. Thus it is difficult to break them down. The ‘we’ve always done it this way around here’ attitude is a good example of this even when new ideas and ways of doing things become available.
  6. An ineffective (or non-existent) workplace diversity policy and inefficient processes to support diversity: Organisations often talk about ‘workplace diversity’ but don’t implement it properly or support it with robust policies and procedures. Hence, Successful implementation of workplace diversity is the responsibility of the organisation. They should ensure this through their policies and procedures.

Ways to implement an effective workplace diversity policy:

These are some ways to improve, and value, the richness of workplace diversity.

  • Take stock of how well your workplace diversity is going
  • Form a Workplace Diversity Project team to design, monitor and implement a successful plan
  • Promote diversity in leadership roles
  • Promote open communication among the troops
  • Teach your staff to value the differences

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