The ideologies that underlay diversity are based on the understanding and respect that all individuals are different in their nature. The dimensions that may cause such differences include gender, economic status, physical abilities, race, political beliefs, age, ethnicity, and religious beliefs among others (Raelin, 2010). Diversity promotes respect and acceptance within the community while understanding that every person is unique and moving forward to embrace the luxurious proportions of variety.
The strategy of diversity is primarily intended to maintain and promote a working environment that is neutral; promoting positive interaction and communication between the management and the workers in general (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Through the positive working environment, employees feel part of the team, and their indulgence helps organizations realize their objectives and attain their set goals expeditiously. The process that is involved in implementing diversity in an organization is somewhat long but is advantageous to the Company in the elongated run (Chin & Trimble, 2014).
Role of leaders in managing Diversity
Leaders play an integral role in managing diversity within their respective organizations. The organizational leaders are responsible for maintaining and ensuring the activities of the firm are in place while the employees are in good shape (Ely & Thomas, 2001). The leader majorly promotes diversity in an organization through his or her actions and reactions towards those under them. The ones in leadership positions can build a system where the team members put accountability as their priority. By ensuring that every worker understands their position in the organization, it is eminent that respect will reign as no misunderstandings can arise between the employees, managers and the leaders above them (Chin & Trimble, 2014).
Diversity in the opinion of the junior members is another crucial factor that leaders have to point out to their workers. As the primary role is to ensure every member of the organization feels part of it, it is paramount that the opinions of the members be listened to and addressed accordingly. The performance of groups is based on the input that will be directed at the employees of the firm (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Leaders have to put forward the views that some of the employees point out to promote diversity while keeping the best interests of the company at par. In addition to addressing the opinion of the employees, the leaders need to ensure that they promote both social and emotional intelligence. It is important that the leaders bear in mind the difference in the aspects with which different people view things and how they understand the same and try to teach the subordinates how to emulate the same.
According to Adair (2012), gender equality in the management and organizational wok field is of vital importance to the firms. Both the gentlemen and ladies play a fundamental role in the realization of the business’s goals and the views that they both portray push the organization to higher limits. The leaders should inspire their team to promote gender equality within the organization (Ely & Thomas, 2001). The manager may put it clear that between the men and women, none is superior to the other and they are both equal, and as such, they should be able to work together without the gender bias.
Age is another factor that determines how diversity is implemented within an organization. Historical norms that do not promote diversity preference employment by age and support the employment of older people in advanced roles due to their experience and competence while preceding the alternative of employing the young experienced (Adair, 2012). As a leading light, it is imperative to note that both the young and old employees portray competent skills in a set of their talents and the potential of each of two groups can be reached through continued practice. Selecting employees based on their qualifications, experiences and academic level is fair regardless of their age, and thus leaders should promote diversity through such measures (Raelin, 2010).
Coaching of the employees is another way that the manager may focus on to ensure they practice diversity. Different personalities of people respond positively to mentorship and coaching. The events of coaching are driven by the desire to see the employees succeed in their career paths as they build up their talents. When a leader embraces the act of coaching his or her team, they feel that they are on a journey of achieving together with their leader (Storey, 2014). The employees may engage in the organization’s projects openly and with the mindset that what they are doing they are not alone since they can visually see that their leader respects and values their individual career goals.
Storey (2014) claims that the effort put into action by leaders in ensuring that diversity is implemented in the organizations reflected in the long-term benefits that the firm might incur. Diversity within the body is important, as it will ensures fair treatment of employees, good communication between the managers and the junior teams, and a better environment where employees can work without discrimination of race, sex, and age, among other factors. Diversity within the firm will ensure that the employees are continually improving their skills and talents. Courtesy of the aforementioned reasons, leaders should practice leadership styles that promote diversity within their companies.
Adair, J. 2012. Leadership skills. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.
Chin, J. & Trimble, J. 2014. Diversity and leadership. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Ely, R.J. & Thomas, D.A. 2001 Cultural diversity at work: the effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes, Administrative Science Quarterly, 46 (2), pp.229-273,
Storey, S. 2014. The impact of variety on worldwide leadership performance: LEAD2.
Raelin, J.A. 2010 the leaderful fieldbook: strategies and activities for developing leadership in everyone. London: Nicholas Brealey.
Activity 2.6, Journeys to Engage Our Intercultural Competence.