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The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
enforces these laws and provides oversight and coordination of all federal
equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies, often
with great difficulty.
Managing diversity in the workplace goes far beyond the limits of
equal employment opportunity and affirmative action laws. Officials in
charge of diversity, and other managers in companies, recognize the lim-
itations of discrimination laws. Therefore, through strategic and policy
planning, they must incorporate policies and programs that ensure fairness
and equality in a challenging and diverse workforce. Progressive employ-
ers provide continuous learning opportunities and sensitivity training to
address discriminatory practices. Managers and staff are encouraged to
consciously work towards preventing and eliminating discrimination in an
organization. This is necessary in order to establish and successfully carry
out an unbiased culture of diversity based upon the mission, vision, and
values set forth by the leadership of an organization.
Cox (1991) describes three organization models that address different
organizational aspects of cultural diversity in the workplace. The models
apply to monolithic, plural, and multicultural organizations, which are
described by Cox as follows.
￿ In the monolithic organization, the amount of structural integration
or the presence of persons from different cultural groups in a single
organization is minimal, with obvious white advantages in the U.S.
workplace. This type of organization may have women and marginal-
ized members within the workforce but not in positions of leadership
and power.
￿ The plural organization has a more heterogeneous membership than the
monolithic organization and is more inclusive of persons from cultural
backgrounds different from that of the dominant group. This type of
organization seeks to empower those from marginalized circumstances,
to encourage opportunities for promotion and positions of leadership.
￿ The multicultural organization contains many different cultural groups,
and values diversity. It also encourages healthy conflict as a way of pro-
moting creative thinking.
A number of employment indicators reveal that racial and ethnic
minorities are particularly hard hit during economic downturns, but they
don't explain some of the other important implications. The US
Department of Labor recorded claims of discrimination during 2009 that
were almost twice as high for African Americans than for the white
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