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Business LibreTexts

3.1: Diversity and Multiculturalism

  • Page ID
    23750
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    Learning Objectives

    1. Define, explain, and identify your own power and privilege.
    2. Provide reasoning as to why diversity is important to maintain profitability.

    Many people use the terms diversity and multiculturalism interchangeably, when in fact, there are major differences between the two. Diversity is defined as the differences between people. These differences can include race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, background, socioeconomic status, and much more. Diversity, when talking about it from the human resource management (HRM) perspective, tends to focus more on a set of policies to meet compliance standards. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees complaints in this area. We discuss the EEOC in Section 3.3.1 “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)” and in greater detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” and Chapter 5 “Selection”.

    Multiculturalism goes deeper than diversity by focusing on inclusiveness, understanding, and respect, and also by looking at unequal power in society. In a report called “The 2007 State of Workplace Diversity Management Report1,” most HR managers said that diversity in the workplace is

    1. not well defined or understood at work,
    2. focuses too much on compliance, and
    3. places too much emphasis on gender and ethnicity.

    This chapter focuses on the advantages of a diverse workplace and discusses multiculturalism at work and the compliance aspect of diversity.