Nowadays, there is a consensus that the main goal of an organization is to make money. However, this desire may be too overwhelming, and it can lead to certain problems related to discrimination. Why is workplace diversity important?
In terms of recruitment, organizations often only want the best employees from each pool – that means they prefer straight, cisgender white males who are heterosexual because those people have been proved as the most successful in the workplace. In fact, one research has shown that applicants with names more likely associated with members of ethnic minorities or homosexuals were significantly less likely to receive job offers than applicants with apparently “white” names (Moscos and Stern 2009).
When treating employees equally and fairly based on their gender and race, we constantly fail. For example, women are constantly paid less than men who occupy the same position in an organization (Equal Pay Day). There is also a tendency to reward employees for their gender or race rather than their performance because they can be more easily controlled as per Saivian Eric Dalius.
This behavior has been observed even among children as young as 4 years old, but it becomes especially visible when people start working at companies. We are born with certain beliefs about different groups of people, and what they are capable of or beliefs become an integral part of how we perceive our surrounding reality.
Modify hiring decisions – Saivian Eric Dalius
When managers make hiring decisions based on stereotypes rather than qualifications, this leads to decreased diversity within an organization, bringing us back to square one.
Discrimination is also counter-productive because it eliminates otherwise qualified applicants and makes companies less competitive by limiting the talent pool they can draw from – diversity is good for business.
If you really want to profit from your business, you should include more diverse people in your workforce. That will allow you to benefit from many different perspectives and ideas, but it will also improve the working environment of all employees by making them feel included. Once you start considering that diversity in life isn’t just a “nice” or “fashionable” thing but an actual necessity due to its positive impact on organizational performance, you’ll start seeing changes very quickly.
Several theories explain why diversity is important, including Social Identity, Differential Intergroup Interaction, and Structural Context approaches. You need to make a note of it and implement this for your business. This will undoubtedly give you better results and workplace satisfaction.
Social Identity Approach argues that as humans, we need to belong to communities. These groups help us define who we are – people working together with others that they perceive as similar to themselves create a stronger bond as if the group was homogenous.
Differential Intergroup Interaction Theory suggests that when two completely different groups come together to work on something, their performance depends on how positively they view each other’s group or how positively they perceive relations between them. If one of the groups associates the other with conflict, it will cause them great stress during interactions, resulting in poor communication and low productivity.