WEEK 7: Managing for inclusion: Equality and Workplace diversity…
Managing for inclusion:
Equality and Workplace diversity
Term used to describe differences
E.g. age, race, ethnicity, physical characteristics,
(height, weight, etc.) mental and physical ability, personality, sexual orientation etc.
In addition to the above differences, workplace diversity also encompasses differences in religious beliefs, educational attainment, experience, family status, parental status, pregnancy etc.
It is necessary to manage diversity as the Australian population comprises of...
• 28% born overseas, third highest in world
• Overseas-born residents contribute to more than 50% of population growth – over 300 languages
• Those born in Europe are declining while those born in Asia and Africa are increasing
• Overseas-born population from Asia and Africa have proportionally larger young (0-14 years) and working age (15-64 years) populations compared to those from Europe
• Indigenous Australians comprise of approx. 2.4% of the population
• Over the next 50 years, approx. ¼ Australians will be 65 years or older
• Increasing labour force participation of women
• Increase in dual-earner households with dependent children, single-parent households, and the ‘sandwich generation’
The glass ceiling
what is it?
A phenomenon that limits the advancement of women and other minority groups to senior managerial positions in organisations
only 25% of key management positions on company boards are held by women in Australia
However, in the public service 40% of all senior executive positions filled by women
Eastern European and Scandinavian nations lead the way in abolishing the glass ceiling
overcoming the glass ceiling
Changing societal norms around the role of women and eradicating gender bias
Eliminating the stigmatisation of men who choose to stay home for family reasons
introduction of paid-parental leave schemes, especially for men that goes beyond ‘one week’
Introducing gender quotas for company boards
Realising that a more representative blend of women and men in senior roles just makes good business sense
social dilemmas of workplace diversity:
- Individual participation
- Managerial participation
- Organisational participation
The success of organisational diversity initiatives is dependent upon the degree to which its employees embrace/resist them
Formation of subgroups along social categories may result in restricting the movement of information
Due to exclusion, employees may form further informal subgroups resulting in subgroup competition
A consequence of the dilemma of individual participation
Managers likely to recruit individuals they perceive to be similar to them (i.e. their social category)
Individuals may also seek out managers that are similar to them
Those that do not ‘fit in’ often leave resulting in a homogenous workforce
Can result in ‘power battles’
Dependent upon how well the social dilemmas relating to individual and managerial participation are addressed
Incorrect perceptions in relation to the relationship between homogenous workers and employee turnover
Belief that diversity initiatives benefit society not organisations implementing them, organisations bear the costs and accrue little benefit
Focus on short-term costs and not long-term benefits
Creates barriers for selecting highly talented candidates due to ill informed and short sighted views
Overcoming social dilemmas of workplace diversity:
The management problem- overcoming individual & managerial participation.
The public policy problem - overcoming organisational participation.
• Avoiding the creation of legislation hat results in 'protected classes' of workers
• Instead requiring legislation that requires firms to develop and implement diversity initiatives that result in sustainable success.
• Not focusing on encouraging just diversity but, 'effective' diversity.
• Education curricula at primary/secondary level.
Social identity Theory
Social identity theory stipulates that individuals validate their social identity by favouring their ‘ingroup’ at the expense of ‘out-groups’
Individuals perceive that it is 'easier' to communicate with other members of their 'ingroup' as they are more predictable, trustworthy and more likely to reciprocate favours
A shared social identity increases perceived differences between individuals belonging to different social categories
The success of organisational diversity initiatives is dependent upon mitigating these perceived differences