Diversity management is an approach used by organizations to create a diverse and inclusive workplace environment that values and respects differences among employees. There are several paradigms that underpin diversity management, each with its own unique characteristics and approaches. In this essay, we will discuss the following diversity management paradigms: affirmative action, managing diversity, cultural competence, and diversity and inclusion.
Affirmative Action Paradigm:
The affirmative action paradigm emerged in the United States in the 1960s to address the issue of discrimination against underrepresented groups in the workplace, particularly African Americans. This paradigm requires organizations to take proactive measures to correct past discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. Affirmative action policies may include outreach programs, preferential hiring practices, and the use of quotas to increase representation.
An example of an affirmative action program is the “Rooney Rule” in the National Football League (NFL). The rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operations positions. This rule was implemented in response to the low representation of African Americans in coaching and leadership roles in the NFL. Since the rule’s implementation in 2003, the number of African American head coaches and senior football operations executives has increased significantly.
Managing Diversity Paradigm:
The managing diversity paradigm emerged in the 1980s in response to the limitations of affirmative action policies. This paradigm recognizes that diversity is not just about correcting past discrimination, but also about leveraging the unique talents and perspectives of all employees to improve organizational performance. Managing diversity requires organizations to create an inclusive work environment that values and respects differences, and actively manages diversity to improve organizational effectiveness.
An example of a managing diversity program is the “Diversity Champions” program at Procter & Gamble (P&G). This program was implemented in response to the recognition that the company’s workforce did not reflect the diversity of its customer base. The program focuses on creating a culture of inclusion and leveraging diversity to drive innovation and business growth. The program includes training for managers and employees, diversity metrics to track progress, and employee resource groups to support underrepresented groups.
Cultural Competence Paradigm:
The cultural competence paradigm emerged in the 1990s in response to the increasing globalization of business and the recognition that organizations needed to be able to work effectively with people from different cultures. This paradigm requires organizations to develop cultural competence, which is the ability to work effectively with people from different cultures. Cultural competence involves understanding and valuing cultural differences, adapting communication and behavior to work effectively with people from different cultures, and developing cross-cultural relationships.
An example of a cultural competence program is the “Global Diversity and Inclusion” program at IBM. This program was implemented in response to the company’s recognition that its workforce was becoming increasingly diverse and global. The program focuses on developing cultural competence among employees, including cross-cultural communication and leadership training, and promoting a culture of inclusion that values and respects differences.
Diversity and Inclusion Paradigm:
The diversity and inclusion paradigm emerged in the 2000s as a response to the limitations of previous diversity paradigms. This paradigm recognizes that diversity is not just about increasing representation or managing differences, but also about creating a culture of inclusion where all employees feel valued and respected. Diversity and inclusion require organizations to create a culture that values and respects differences, and actively works to create opportunities for all employees to contribute to organizational success.
An example of a diversity and inclusion program is the “Unconscious Bias” program at Google. This program was implemented in response to the recognition that unconscious bias can impact decision-making and limit opportunities for underrepresented groups. The program includes training for managers and employees to recognize and mitigate unconscious bias, and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.