Diversity Management: Equality and Diversity Issues

Introduction

From the module on diversity management, I have been able to learn some of the things that were not clear to me and also got an in depth understanding of some issues that I have considered as stereotype since I was young. I thought things such as female feminism are history but from what I have understood such things still happen in our society and people are still discriminated ethnically and on race basis.

Equality and diversity issues

Most of these issues revolve around gender and opportunities related to different genders. Human beings are characterized as either male or female by their biological sexes. Human beings have been discriminated on grounds of sex, race, age, religion, disability, among others (Collinson et al.1990). This discrimination is mostly on issues related to employment where one is denied his/her right to employment simply because of the above grounds. There are some legislation which has been put forward to address issues such as sex discrimination, race relation, equal pay, disability rights and others. If such legislation is taken into consideration then the rate of discrimination will reduce (although it can not be eliminated completely).

Gender, organizations, and management

Naturally women are perceived as being inferior to men thus denying them equal opportunities as the once given to men. This leads to the theory of feminization where by some jobs are categorized as being men’s jobs and others to be women’s. Socially a woman’s work is perceived to be domestic (such as looking after children) and is seen as incapable of performing the duties that men perform (Lewis, 1997). Feminism extends even to work places whereby for the same kind of job done women receive a lesser pay compared to their male counter parts.

In organizations, women are usually seen as the problem and the allowances made do not accommodate them (Carby, 1982). Such allowances may include: training, medical, and traveling. Although women might prove to be better leaders than men due to their compassionate hearts, they are not given leadership roles as they are considered to be male roles (Liff and Dale, 1994). They have also been hindered from forming networks that could assist in job search and open them up to fight for their rights.

Work life balance and Family Friendly Policies

One should take responsibilities of balancing personal life and work life and make sure that they do not conflict. Many are the times when people tend to use working hours to do their personal responsibilities (Lewis, 1997). There are some friendly policies laid down for the benefit of disabled people and parents with young children as early as six years in order to make sure that they have a work life balance.

In order to ensure that work is done effectively and that employees do not neglect some of their duties, every organization is supposed to give all staffs one month paid annual leave and a maximum of 48 working hours per week. Women are entitled to 26 weeks paid maternity and men 2 weeks paid paternity leave, either party may choose to extend this time but further time off is unpaid.

Ethnicity, race, and religion

Race and ethnicity are different in that race distinguishes people on the basis of skin color while ethnicity is based on social construction. People are discriminated ethically in terms of employment, salaries, and job promotion (Afshar and Maynard, 1994). For example it has been found that the level of unemployment among the ethnic minority is twice that of the whites (Anthias and Yuval, 1992). However, this rate is not the same for all ethnic minority groups i.e. there are some with higher rates than others. Bangladeshi and Pakistani happen to be the most disadvantaged in terms of employment. Majority ethnic group does not have complete power and minority groups can resist discrimination.

In the United States black people have been discriminated on education basis. Only a few universities in U.S admitted black students and those who were lucky to secure places at these universities were regularly isolated from the white students and could not be allowed to participate in some activities of campus life. I have witnessed some black people being denied positions for admission in these universities. This led to the need of forming black fraternities which have helped these black people fight for their right of education and most people have been able to study as a result of the fraternities. They have been able to network within themselves and now securing a job is not a major problem for them.

Human Resource Management (HRM) and Equality

This focuses on gender related issues excluding race and ethic differences. People are the most productive assets in any organization and must be treated fairly for the production to be effective. In the past women have been discriminated against their male counter parts in terms of pay and work positions. With the current fight for gender equality, we have seen an increasing number of women in work places although they still earn less compared to men.

One of the goals of HRM is to provide equal opportunities to both genders in terms of selection, appraisal, reward, and management roles (Dickens, 1998). As HRM tries to eliminate these inequalities, it cannot completely do away with some labor market inequalities because stereotypes are still persistence.

Conclusion

A lot have been done to fight against gender inequality and ethic discrimination. The number of women in work places has increased drastically although they still earn less. Human resource management has helped in providing equal opportunities for both genders and women are getting more information concerning their legal rights. However, racial discrimination remains a major problem which will be difficult to fight with.

Reference

Afshar, H. and Maynard, M. (1994) (eds.). The Dynamics of Race and Gender. London: Taylor and Francis.

Anthias, F. and Yuval-Davis, N. (1992) Racialized Boundaries: race, nation, gender, color and class and the anti-racist struggle. London: Routledge.

Carby, H., V. (1982) ‘White Women Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood’, In Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, The Empire Strikes Back. London: Hutchinson.

Collinson, D. and Knights, D. et al. (1990) Managing to Discriminate, UK: Routledge.

Dickens, L. (1998) ‘What HRM means for gender equality’. Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 8 (1), pp. 23-40.

Lewis, S. (1997) Family friendly employment policies: a route to changing organizational culture or playing about at the margins? Gender, Work, and Organization, 4 (1), 13-23, p.16.

Liff, S. and Dale, K. (1994) Formal Opportunity, Informal Barriers: Black women managers within a Local Authority, Work, Employment and Society, 8, 2, 177-198.