There are many ways to explain or define diversity in the workplace. The true definition is ensuring people of all races, religions, cultures and even countries to be able to work in the same place without discrimination. The ambit of diversity can always be widened and it can also be customized to suit a specific situation or business. For instance, some businesses hire only young and there may be a need to hire older people, solely for experience, wisdom or patience if for no other reason. There are companies that need to hire more women, businesses where more men should be welcomed. There are companies that avoid hiring young people, which is again not a very desirable scenario.
Despite all the advocacy, it is not always wise to enforce diversity. There are several diversity in the workplace pros and cons that must be factored in.
List of Pros of Diversity in the Workplace
1. Diversity is a social, economic, religious and ethnic equalizer. It is a great leveler because people from all races or of ethnicities can be hired or considered for the available positions solely on the basis of merit. There is no room for discrimination. Americans, Africans, British, Germans, Italians, African Americans, Hispanics, Mexicans, Asians including the various ethnicities of Chinese, Indians, Koreans and Indonesians or Vietnamese, and Russians among others, all should get a fair chance at a job. Of course that is if one is eligible.
2. Diversity in the workplace promotes meritocracy and that is always good for business. When you have only the best of the best working on your core business interests, you can be assured that your company will achieve its goals.
3. Diversity in the workplace creates a vibrant atmosphere. People mingle with one another, learn the strengths and weaknesses of others, contribute collectively and evolve together to get better and to make the company better.
4. Diversity in the workplace also helps a company to have what it takes to compete with others in an increasingly globalized and multicultural world. Today, no company can decide that it will only sell to or deal with Americans or only African Americans. Every company has to deal with clients or customers from every ethnicity, regardless of cultural, social and religious differences.
List of Cons of Diversity in the Workplace
1. Diversity in the workplace shouldn’t be for the sake of it. If meritocracy is not ensured and people from diverse backgrounds are hired just for the sake of diversity, then it is of no use.
2. Diversity too can become a lobby just as racism can dictate certain company policies. Throughout history, employers have preferred people of certain ethnicities, having certain religious beliefs or being from a certain social or cultural strata. Diversity itself can become a noose and employers may feel compelled. One may make wrong decisions in the process.