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Explain the concept of diversity management in contrast to equal opportunities, and discuss to what extent the increasing popularity of diversity management signals a genuine progress in creating a fairer workplace.

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Introduction

Explain the concept of diversity management in contrast to equal opportunities, and discuss to what extent the increasing popularity of diversity management signals a genuine progress in creating a fairer workplace. Word Count For business to be successful in the emerging global marketplace they must develop their ability of diversity. Diversity is imperative in the business world, whether the business is big or small and can be vital to the potential success of the business. The main objective of this essay is to explore diversity management in contrast to equal opportunities and to discuss to what extent the increasing popularity of diversity management signals a genuine progress in creating a fairer workplace. This essay first focuses on the concept of diversity and then progresses to discuss diversity in contrast to equal opportunities. According to Kandola and Fullerton diversity is defined as: 'The basic concept of managing diversity accepts that the workforce consists of a diverse population of people. The diversity consists of visible and non-visible differences, which will include sex, age, background, race, disability, personality and work style. It is founded on the premise that harnessing these differences will create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, where their talents are being fully utilised, and which organisational goals are met.' Managers need to possess emotional intelligence in order to be successful managers of diversity. ...read more.

Middle

These figures have remained constant over the past eighteen years and have been increasing rather decreasing. There is obvious segregation in the labour market. There are a high percentage of ethnic minority males working in the catering and repairs industries in comparison to the white males. Basically the white males are employed to do highly paid, clean, well respected jobs such as teaching, management, etc and the ethnic minority are left with the jobs which do not require a lot of education and are not very well paid. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) (2000) gives an account of the ratio of white male managers to the ethnic minority managers. There were 30.4 per cent of white people who were managers in comparison to the 24.7 per cent of black people. The ethnic minority are also disadvantaged when it comes to wages. Many aspects of discrimination have been notably improved yet discrimination of minority groups in the workplace still exists. There is an ongoing debate to improve the disadvantages that the ethnic minority groups come across. Legislative action is the favourite idea for dealing with the situation. It is normally referred to as the equal opportunities or liberal approach. However, many argue that legislative action will not make a difference and that it is people's outlooks and prejudice that must be altered. The equal opportunities approach is based on legislation and aims to banish discrimination through rules and regulations. ...read more.

Conclusion

Managers are responsible for the diversity in the business where as HR are responsible for the equal opportunities. Reacting to the pressure not the problem, let alone the opportunity Compliance and obligation Keep the 'law' out of our business Situational ethics Avoid legal consequences Diversity is important as a competitive business practice and we are here to run a business We need to attract the best people Job stability/continuity is important to success Turnover costs money Individual self-esteem is important to performance People who feel comfortable in their work environment are more likely to feel confident in their ability to contribute Business, social and moral values are one and the same Job is part of life, not vice versa The more productive people are those who feel valued for who they are Productive people=a high performance organisation. Conception model of diversity (source: F.LaFasto (1992) 'Baxter health care Organisation', in B.W Jackson, F LaFesto, H.G Schulz and D Kelly, 'Diversity', Human resource management, Vol. 31, nos 1 and 2, Spring/Summer, p. 28) This model displays the different contributions of equal opportunities and managing diversity. Management diversity varies in its methods and emphasis. Some compare with those of the equal opportunities approach and some are completely different. Managing diversity is considered to be superior to the equal opportunities approach. It is becoming more popular in the work place as it provides a fairer working environment for the employees and is not just based on legislation. Managing diversity is more personal as it focuses on individuals where as the equal opportunities approach focuses on groups. ...read more.

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