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Diversity in Organizations

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Diversity in Organizations

Diversity comes from the word diverse or different. Diversity climate is defined as "organizational members' attitudes and perceptions toward people from cultural groups other than their own Kinicki, & Kreitner, (2009)." Many people when they hear the word diversity only think about race. My understanding of diversity within organizations is beyond race. Diversity among organizations is an inclusion of different people ranging from sex, race, age, social economic status, learning styles, leadership styles, personalities, and more. "It's the related aspects of our differences-personality, skill, experience, knowledge-which when combined effectively offer the magic prize of synergy" (Nicholson, 2011). According to Bohlander & Snell (2007),

Managing diversity means being acutely aware of characteristics common to employees, while also managing these employees as individuals. It means not just tolerating or accommodating all sorts of differences but supporting, nurturing, and utilizing these differences to the organizations advantage.

When organizations learn the importance of diversity it is not only beneficial towards the organization but also its employees, partners, and community. When diversity is managed there is a better utilization of talent, an increase in market understanding, creativity is enhanced, increases the quality of team problem solving, and a range of understanding in leadership positions (Bohlander & Snell (2007).

Creating or implementing a diverse population of people is not an easy task to do, especially when people feel that it is not needed. Grant(2011) states "Most people are simply not interested in equality and diversity initiative that go out of their way to encourage applications from selected groups who are deemed to under-represented by a politically correct elite ". There are several steps or programs that organizations can do to create a diverse atmosphere of people. Implementing diversity should start with the organizations recruitment and management. Diversity advisory boards or committee should be implemented. This board or committee can educate and address issues related to diversity (Zimmerman, 2011).Programs or projects should be available to all staff that can better their understanding among themselves and others. There should be an ongoing support and dedication to managing diversity.

The reason for the selection of diversity is due to the fact that I work at Valencia College and one of their values is on diversity. Valencia College (2011) values diversity "by fostering the understanding it builds in learning relationships and appreciating the dimensions it adds to our quality of life". A question asked at all interviews that I have applied for is what does diversity meaning to us and how can we contribute to it? We also have a diversity representative at every interview that ensures proper recruitment.

When preparing for my interviews, since I already know that this questioned will be asked and is also a very important in determining if the job will be offered, I try to make sure I understand the importance of diversity. At Valencia, we have a diverse population of students. We have different sexes, genders, social economic status, students that are first time in college, transfer students, students that are returning to college, students that learn one way and students that have different characteristics and personalities. I understand that in order for an employee or student to excel we must be aware of the differences and learn ways to help each type of person at an individual level.

According to Kinicki and Kreitner 2009, there are four levels of diversity; personality, internal dimensions, external dimensions, and organizational dimensions.

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