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Meanings of Diversity

The state of being different; variety or multiformity and points of difference shared by a group of induviduals


Advantages of a diverse workforce are...

Increased workforce talent pool, product innovation, improved sales, satisfied workers and meeting community expectations


Disadvantages of Cultural Diversity in the Workforce are ...

Increased conflict, training costs, opportunity for mismanagement (leading to employee dissatisfaction), difficulties accomodating different cultural and religious expectations and reverse discrimination


Definitions of Culture

The collective genetic programming of the mind which distinguishes one group of people from another; collection of prejudices; shared values, attitudes and behaviours of a group of people



Smaller categories or groups of a larger dominant group



valuing and accommodating many different cultures



sharing and cultivating a common world. From kosmopolitês, meaning citizen of the world.


Direct Discrimination is ....

taking action against an individual in a particular and occasional way that causes disadvantage because s/he belongs to a particular group.


Institutional/Systematic Discrimination is .....

structuring a society or organisation to maintain the advantages of certain groups who share the same characteristics.


Common Forms of Discrimination Include...

Racism, sexism, ageism, paternalism, parochialism and xenophobia


Definition(s) of Prejudice

1. An unfavourable opinion or a feeling formed beforehand; lacking knowledge or factual evidence
2. Unreasonable opinion directed towards a racial, religious or other group identifiably different from our own
3. Varying levels of exploitation (i.e., action) that discriminate against individuals because they are members of a particular group


Identity is....

a concept that describes how we define ourselves and how we are defined by others
• Identity is defined in relation to difference or ‘otherness’


Types of Identity

1. Actual identity: fixed (genetic) identity that actually objectively or factually exists in a group (e.g., race, gender, age)
2. Perceived identity : believed identity that group members perceive to subjectively exist (e.g., religion)
3. Negotiated identity : dynamic identity that combines actual and perceived differences (e.g., sexuality, lifestyle)


Cultural Difference Theory (Hofstede)

• Power distance – extent to which a culture accepts difference between the lowest and highest members
• Uncertainty avoidance – extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty
• Individualism/collectivism – extent to which a culture is concerned about the individual as opposed to the group
• Masculinity/femininity – refers to the value placed on traditionally male or female values
• Confucian Work Dynamism – extent of long/short term orientation in terms of thrift, perseverance, work ethic


Culture shock is .....

• Culture Shock is defined as the loss of emotional equilibrium that people suffer when moved from a highly familiar to highly unfamiliar environment which is less easily negotiated - abrupt loss of the familiar


Race refers too

dividing people into populations or groups based on visible traits (e.g., anatomical-skin colour, facial features; cultural; ethnic;genetic; geographical; historical; religious or social affiliation), and self-identification


'Minority Group' is a ....

a sociological term for a group that often experiences discrimination, social disadvantages and strong self-consciousness as a result of discrimination



• Ageism is stereotyping and prejudice directed toward people because of their age
• Discrimination mostly directed toward older people - but also younger people – because of their ‘youthful’ attitudes and behaviours


What Law forbids ageism?

The Age Discrimination Act 2004 makes it unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of age at the point of offering employment and after people have been employed, in relation to conditions, denying access to training, promotion and in terms of dismissal


Gender segregation is

grouping women and men into particular jobs or levels


Horizontal segregation is

: women and men are placed in different occupations - women employed as waitresses, chambermaids, cleaners, travel agencies sales persons, flight attendants. Men employed as barmen, gardeners, stewards construction workers, drivers, pilots


Vertical segregation is

the typical "gender pyramid" is prevalent in the tourism sector – more lower level occupations with few career development opportunities dominated by women and less higher level managerial positions dominated by men.


Strategies to resist gender discrimination

• Adopt affirmative action statements and practices in recruitment (e.g., recruit more women to higher management roles or non-traditional roles)
• Adopt equal opportunity employment practices (e.g. pay women for maternity leave)
• Consider the ‘glass ceiling’ syndrome and what factors stop women progressing to senior management
• Design media communications (e.g., brochures) to be inclusive of gender and other diversities


Strategies for working with GLBT people

• Start by checking one’s own knowledge and feelings about GLBT people
• Understand that GLBT people vary in how they deal with and display their sexual identity
• Maintain and respect privacy of peoples’ sexuality
• Be aware of discriminatory practices (eg in-appropriate jokes and humour)
• Use gender neutral appropriate language (eg partner)


A disability is

any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.


Organisations have responded to increasing diversity by becoming

1. Differentiated: they develop niche markets or occupational roles to deal with difference
2. Complex: they use hard skills
3. Dispersed: they hand decision making down to lower levels to deal with problems
4. Fragmented: they split the organisation into units to simplify tasks
5. Replication: they adopt uniform operating standards to appear united


Accepting Multiplicity means

• Understanding there are different or several equally good ways of thinking about how best to operate a business (eg difference between traditional and alternative business management models)
• Differences (i.e., problems) often require soft skills (e.g., cultural negotiation) not hard skills
• Difference can be complementary


Devolving responsibility means

• Not expecting people to ‘toe the corporate line’ and follow a ‘pre-ordained’ and ‘hegemonic’ workplace culture


Being pluralistic means

• Abandon the replicating approach to business expansion – redesign around ‘global localisation’
• Employing people with different cultural characteristics
• Supporting people through cultural diversity training, assertiveness training, communication skills to accentuate difference


Being able to negotiate means

• Abandoning the idea of ‘team’ as in ‘Team Qantas’ or ‘One World’ as it implies uniformity; replace with ‘collaborative working groups’
• Complement ‘induction skill training’ with ‘workplace culture training’
• Expand what it means to be a ‘good’ technical leader to include soft skills (i.e., knowledge of diversity)
• Reconsider the nature of industrial relations based on adversity to consulted outcomes