The success of a company or a group is proportional to the execution of plans. The individuals working for an organization define the success of these plans, as they are molded with good treatment and recognition of efforts and skills. The workplace, and the society in general, is culturally diverse because of the differences in geography, race, age and gender, among many others – all of which affecting each individual living in this world. Gender Diversity & Differences in Skills and Abilities Gender is undoubtedly highly diverse because of the demographic characteristics that define it.
Males, for example, are always expected to do heavy work, provide for the family, be tough and sturdy, and be the more dominant gender in the society. Women, on the other hand, are expected to be simpler. They are expected to be weaker than males. They are not expected to work heavily, and they can stay inside the house to take care of the kids. Diversity in gender surely has an impact on individual behavior. Demographic trends are ever-changing, to the point that the largest companies in the United States hire managers and directors to manage gender diversity (Myaskovsky, Unikel and Dew, 2005).
If a group of people are asked to define what a male and a female is, the answers would greatly vary from each other. The varying answers highly depend on the kind of gender role an individual is exposed to. Each child is brought up with his or her own idea of a gender role, depending on the environment he grew up in, and initially on how his parents raised him. Generally, though, a gender role is described as a set of attitudes and behaviors that the society expects for a man or a woman. These expectations are set by the society (FAQs Organization, 2008).
Through the years, the Americans have made overwhelming steps in adjusting to gender roles. Almost every year, gender role changes. People try to accept the changes and adjust to them. The changes are inevitable as they are necessary, since the population of women in the employment industry is increasing each year. Gone are the days when only the males were allowed to work. Today, only 45% are males in the workplace. White males used to dominate offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women from different races, along with white women, make up 47% of the overall office population.
It was different in 1995, as 76% of women worked outside their comfortable homes, with ages ranging from 25 to 54. It climbed notches to 50% in 1970 (FAQs Organization, 2008). Gender has become more diverse in the workplace as more women flocked office buildings and industries. Because of the influx of women, there were certain behaviors and attitudes that needed to be changed. Today, people from all genders are more conscious and more aware of sexual harassment in the office, compared to the previous years where a woman is required to say goodbye to her job once she refuses to engage in a relationship with her superior.
Because of gender diversity, companies are now coming up with different policies like on-site child care, job sharing and flex time, in order to benefit all types of gender in the workplace (FAQs Organization, 2008). Sexuality & Personality Traits The same is true with mixed-gender groups, where males, females, bisexuals, homosexuals and transsexuals coexist with one another. There are apparent differences in behavior between males and females, and among the third gender. The gender balance of the group is basically what affects the whole group.
If, for example, individuals are only what remain as members of a specific gender race, they go through a token status in which each individual flies solo. Because of such difference in status, there also comes a difference in the performance and behavior of each individual (Petersen, 1998, p. 128). Sexual orientation calls for a very varied demography, since it covers all types of genders including males, females, transsexuals, bisexuals, gays and lesbians. Males are expected to be the breadwinners, outdoor persons, family men, tough at work and good providers.
Women, on the other hand, are those who do the chores. They contribute to the society and to the economy nonetheless, although less is expected of them. They are, according to society, the weaker sex. Homosexuals suffer the worse, because they are seen as people with sexual transmitted diseases, too sexual, going through a phase and cannot reproduce (Richards, 2000, p. 184). The changes in performance and behavior are seen different by each individual, whatever sexual orientation he has. As an example, female solos are bound to be aware of better visibility of their job.
They are more scrutinizing of their work. They tend to be confined to their duties and responsibilities because this is what is expected of them being the females in the society. All these make them exploitable while organizations seem to give them more advantages over men. Males who go solo are, on the other hand, experiencing more positively evaluation than females do. Homosexuals experience the worst, because they are not seen as capable of doing anything, and the worse thing is that, they are not seen as qualified individuals to participate in the normal events in the society.
Sexual orientation affects individuals because some heterosexuals develop a phobia on homosexuals. Some of the relationships taking place between a heterosexual and a homosexual are not smooth because of homophobia, and the behavior of each individual is altered because of different types of fear and social pressure. Of course, as this is carried in the workplace, the performance is also affected as homosexuals and heterosexuals alike may feel uncomfortable working with each other (Mor-Barak, 2005, p. 112). Importance of Cultural Diversity
Cultural diversity in the workforce is normal, and is encouraged, because cultural diversity breeds managers who prioritize the working relationships of his employees. He makes sure that the workplace is a comfortable place to work in. This way, workers are valued. Cultural diversity will help people learn to see all types of individuals are their co-workers, and not just a mechanical part of the business (Mor-Barak, 2005, p. 191).
FAQs Organization (2008). Gender Roles. Retrieved 31 March 2009 at http://www. faqs. org/health/topics/8/Gender-roles. html. Mor-Barak, M. (2005). Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. SAGE. Myaskovsky, L. , Unikel, E. and Dew, M. A.. (2009). Effects of Gender Diversity on Performance and Interpersonal Behavior in Small Work Groups. Retrieved 31 March, from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m2294/is_9-10_52/ai_n15341182/pg_2/? tag=content;col1 Petersen, A. (1998). Unmasking the Masculine: ‘Men’ and ‘Identity’ in a Sceptical Age. SAGE. Richards, D. (2000). Identity and the Case for Gay Rights: Race, Gender, Religion as Analogies. University of Chicago Press.
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