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Diversity is an increasingly important factor in business as organizations worldwide become more diverse in terms of the gender, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, and other personal characteristics of their members. Because of increasing globalization of business, the organizations require employees from dissimilar cultures to work collectively in cross-national teams. As the global market progresses, diversity is no longer concept that companies speak of . Today, the concept is important as ever. Diversity relates to human characteristics in a mass of areas such as gender, ethnicity, age, values and attitude differences and Diversity, which impacts individual behavior, is a key ingredient needed to create a healthy work environment, competitiveness, and to achieve a global economy.
Ann Hopkins, a former consulting agent for Price Waterhouse, billed more than $34 million in contracts. Hopkins abilities made her the top performer of the company and were up for a partnership with the company. Hopkins was the sole female out of 88 candidates. Nonetheless, “she was denied partnership on the basis that she needed to walk more femininely, talk more femininely, and wear makeup” (L. Clark, E. Kelly, A. Young, 1993). Gender stereotyping happens when employers “judge an employee according to traditional stereotypes based on gender” (L. Clark et al, 1993). Employers lose invaluable employees; encounter discrimination suits, and breed negative public appearances. The behavior of individuals in the workplace contributes to a companys culture. If leaders of an organization have bias and prejudice feelings toward gender, then the likelihood of the organization as a whole will have the same feelings.
In 1986, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone stated that the typical American “intellectual standard is lower than the average Japanese standard because of the blacks and Hispanics in the United States” (Trinity University, n.d.). Today if a leader of a country, business, or organization believes the ideas that Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone expressed, he or she would not be a leader in todays global market. Still, ethnicity plays an important role in individual behavior. One must believe that because a person may be a different color, talk differently, or has a different cultural background does not mean that he or she is inferior. One does not fully have to understand one culture in order to respect the individual. The concept of valuing a persons ethnic background starts within a person. Improving the quality of the workplace will require the elimination of racial and ethnic differences. For example, In an article titled “Microsoft”, published in Black Collegian, the interviewee, Mike Duncan, who is a Technical Account Manager at Microsoft discusses the benefits and reasons for a diversity network In the late eighties, Microsoft implemented a project called BAM (Blacks at Microsoft). BAM is a social network that provides support and opportunities to African Americans. African Americans and Hispanics continue to have less access to technology that impedes their opportunities for achievement in a technical economy. As a result, in 2000, Microsoft Corp offered 11 African-American and Hispanic universities $440,000 in cash and more than $1 million in software (Microsoft, 2000).
Furthermore, an individuals age has an impact on individual behavior in the workplace. Age discrimination in the workplace is a common obstacle that is increasing. Employees should obtain and maintain a career based on their skill, not age. In fact, the law states that an “employer may not fire, refuse to hire, or treat you differently than other employees because of your age” (AARP, 2006). Age discrimination should be a concern for employers