The workplace diversity denotes the differences between the people, process and the organization. The diversity in the workplace is capable of emerging conflicts and challenges for the employees as well as for the organization. As per my understanding from practical experiences and the reading of the various articles, I realized that the workplace diversity is one of the major and deep issues even in today’s era.
To discuss the entire concept and are of the workplace diversity, I will first discuss the position of the women in the workplace, especially the women leaders and the challenges they are facing everyday in their workplace. However, the government and the media are consistently telling and convincing people that the women and the men are equal in every respect of life including their professional area, but I have no doubt that the women are still encountering several serious challenges within their workplace on a regular basis. Anyone can find number of case studies depicting the miserable condition of the women in the workplace. Based on my experience on this particulate issue, I have chosen to write on this topic. As opined by Joan Acker (2012) regarding the gender diversity within the workplace that the women are facing various kinds of challenges in the professional life. In addition, the job facilities are also different from the men employees in the organization. While taking interview of the woman politician Jacinda Ardern on 95B FM, she told me that the within the 24 hours of the announcement of her being the Labour Party leader, she was asked if she wanted to have children after being the leader. I personally feel that these questions are inappropriate in today’s era. I mean what is the connection between the personal and professional life of a woman? And if the professional life proposes any impact on the personal and family life of a woman then why is it not applicable for the men? Is this the progression and development we made for the women? I know these questions will raise another debate and arguments within the critics and the scholars and there will be many people who will prove me wrong with their vague logics.
So other day I was having a chat with my friend who works in a renowned multinational company, but her situation is similar to the other working women. She said that the wages of the women employees in her workplace were less than the other men employees. In addition, there were other illogical rules and regulation for the women. It the other hand, my friend and other female employees in the organization were the victim of the bully of the male employees in the origination. I was seriously shocked to hear from her that she was not promoted for being woman despite having all the eligibilities and qualities for the promotional position. She said that when she asked the management that what were are drawbacks that pulled her back from not being promoted, she was provide with a list of reasons such as women judge and manage everything driven by their emotions, they prioritize their family and not work and so others. I strongly feel that this classification and diversification of the work based on gender is disappointing and insulting for the women. I would like to refer the answer of Katherine Ravenswood from the Gender and Diversity Research Group while she was asked about the prevalence of the challenges of the women in the workplace (Aut.ac.nz, 2017). She said that it has nothing to do for women leaders with having children. She also stated that it is entirely the choice of the women to have children or not while being a leader and it is not that the women cannot lead her team just because she has children. Katherine said that there are many women leaders who have children and successfully leading the teams.
Based on my experience and feelings I have summed up few reasons for the challenges that are predominant in the workplace for women. Firstly, there works an ego in the men for the women leaders (Madsen, 2012). We must remember that we still live in a society that is run and dominated by the male. Therefore, they consistently try to remind us this particular fact by creating new challenges for the women leaders. Another possible reason is that men are afraid of losing their position and dignity in the eyes of the people and hence they oppose the idea of women being leaders (Klarsfeld et al., 2014). Secondly, women have been visualized as the homemaker by the society from the ancient age; therefore the idea of leadership by women will take time to be accepted by the people. Thirdly, the women are themselves responsible for being the victims of the diversity practices and challenges. I strongly feel suggest the other women to raise their voice against the gender discrimination in the workplace. However, there are little progress in this respect and the government, non government organizations, social media campaigning are taking serious steps regarding these issues, but New Zealand has to go long way in women leadership. There are many women in New Zealand who are fighting an invisible battle everyday in their workplace (Burke & Mattis, 2013). In addition, the society also has to advance their thought regarding the women leadership.
In order to discuss the workplace diversity, I must include the subject of racial diversity. No doubt, even in the 21st century the racism is still one of the predominant issues in the in the society, and the organizations is no exception. In fact, I personally think that the racial diversity is practices mostly in the workplace and dark skin color make the people victim of the practice. However, I must also include the ethnicity, power and the systematic racism and the differences among them. In addition, I would also like to discuss about privilege of the same. For the understanding of the topic, I must differentiate between the conception of the race and the ethnicity. The race refers to the physical characteristics of the people including the skin color to the facial structure. In the other hand, the ethnicity denotes the identities of the people which is signified by the language, dress, customs, nationality, religion and other factors. The racial identity of the people is basically inherited genetically, whereas the ethnicity comes from the circumstantial perspective of the people. However, in this section of my writing I am going to discuss about the systematic privilege of the people inherited by the race.
From deep inspection and the everyday experience on the esteemed topic, I have found out that the white people usually receive the systematic advantages due to the their skin color that determines their race. On the other hand, the while women are also becomes the victim of the cross race relationship in terms of the unproblematic solidarity (Swan, 2017). The idea of the race has therefore become little confusing to me. In the article on this topic, Geiger and Jordan (2014) opine that the desire for the unproblematic solidarity of the while women creates obstacles in their cross race relationship. I personally feel that the white women are suffering from the ego as they find that black women are dominating any organization with the potential of being the leaders of the same. This is of course an indication to the workplace diversity. I have observed another habits in the while people that they try to dominate the world by imposing their point of view to be universal. I am certainly not being partial to the people of color, rather I am just sharing my own opinion based on my observation and feeling on the systematic privilege out of the racial distinction. Along with this, I believe that the respect to the own ethnic cultural values is also responsible for creating diversity in the cross race relationship irrespective of the nature of the same (Gaddis, 2012).
I would like to present an example of the Maori people, especially the women in the workplace. There is no doubt that New Zealand has progressed in its way of accepting the diversity and valuing the morale of other people. But the Maori people of New Zealand are everyday facing obstacles for their ethnicity. My liberal thinking has forced me to raise the questions that what the ethnicity has to do with the professional achievement of a woman? Initially I did not realize that the seed of the racial distinction is ploughed deeply in the society. Every other Maori woman has been victim of the racism at any point of their life. It is the trend of the society to dominate and bully the minority people somehow or other. Like the other European women of New Zealand, the Maori women have also advanced in terms of education and have acquired remarkable position in the professional context. But I feel that the society still is not ready to accept the advancement of the women from an ethnic group. Therefore, they are the receiver of the systematic advantages. Apart from that, the racial diversity is one of the less discussed but more practiced topics in today’s society, which I feel only be resolved by te elimination of the sense of racial power.
Religious diversity is another burning topic while discussing the workplace diversity. There exist more than one religious people in a workplace, especially in the multinational companies. The co-existence of the various religious in the workplace is definitely capable of creating conflicts in the mind of the people. The religious diversity also refers to the treatment of the by the management and the employees towards the employee from diverse religions (McKim, 2015). However, I am writing this piece of writing on the workplace diversity and will present my personal and professional experience regarding the topic. So, according to my opinion and experience on the religious diversity, the management of the different religious practices in the workplace is most important to avoid any kind of conflicts and issues that can affect the usual workflow.
For a country like New Zealand there are diverse kind people living and working in various professions. Therefore, the religious diversity is one of the common issues in the workplace (Workresearch.aut.ac.nz 2017). I found out that the religious diversity is the capable of disrupting the human rights in the workplace and that this issue has become a taboo for the society. In addition, every religion is somehow or other is becoming the victim of the diversity issues in the workplace for its practice. Other day one of my Muslim colleagues faced religious pluralism in our workplace. He was questioned for performing his daily prayer rituals within the workplace. I understand that every region has its own practice and beliefs that is different from other religions. But I really don’t understand the point of bullying or making fun of that by the people. I mean why someone disrespects the religious practice of others if that are different from others? And what fun does it make from being different from the other religions? However, for the protection of the human rights and the avoiding the conflicts regarding the religious issue within the workplace, the New Zealand government has passed an act in the year 2002. The purpose of the act is to prohibit the discriminations of on several specific grounds. The ethical beliefs and the religious beliefs are included in the act terms of prohibiting discrimination in any circumstances (Religious Diversity in the New Zealand Workplace 2011). I personally find the act very useful and necessary for any nations having diverse religious practices.
On the other hand, I feel that the religious diversity has a strong and deep connection with the cultural diversity. I feel this way because the culture is a part of the religion and vice versa. The cultural practices are based on the religious practices of the people. I have seen, experienced and heard of many cultural diversity issues in the workplace that are prevalent even in 2017. My writing is focused on the role of the managers in taking care of the religious diversity in the workplace. Gelb and Longrace (2012) stated that the managers of the organizations cannot ignore the issues related to the religious diversity. In addition, they also stated that the federal law protects the common and general rights of the employees. But the violation of the laws is still practiced in many organizations. However, I found out that the organizations that follow the rules and regulations regarding the religious diversity; have some benefits out of the same. In accordance to my opinion about the religious diversity, having diverse culture in the workplace need to be managed efficiently which can lead the organizations to have rich organizational culture in the workplace. For example, once I visited the office where my father worked on the annual family meeting. There I found out that the managers of the company are liberal about the religions diversity and respect the beliefs and practice of the every employee having different religion. Also my father told me that he never had seen any conflicts in his workplace that had emerged from the religious issues. Later I realized that the proper management of the organization regarding the religious diversity within the workplace is the reason behind having peaceful co existence of the diverse religion in the same. Therefore, I feel that the proper management of the religious matter and diversity I the workplace is needed in every organization. Baseed on my personal experience I recommend to the managerial persons of the organization to consider the practice of the religious diversity for some specific and certain cases and follow the laws regarding the same for avoiding any conflicts among the employees and ensure the peaceful co existence of the employees belonging to different religions.
I will conclude my discussion on this topic by saying that religion is one of the major and important aspects of workplace diversity that needs to be considered with proper attention and importance. I feel that lack of understanding of the necessity of the management of the diversity issues regarding the religious practices in the workplace can result into bigger problem for the organizations. In addition, I also feel that there is room for improvement in the management structure of the organizations of New Zealand in terms of following the laws concerning about the religious diversity within the workplace. I hope and believe that the day not far when every religion can perform their practice without being bullied and questioned. Along with this, I also strongly hope for the elimination of the harassment of the people within the workplace in terms of discrimination based on the ground of religions.
The mental health refers to the emotional, social and psychological well being which make us capable of enjoying life (World Health Organization, 2014). The mental health of person signifies how happy he is in his life. I will not say that mental health is entirely an aspect of the workplace diversity; rather I will say that mental health of a person to certain extent is based and depended on his workplace. I believe that the mental health of people indicates the level of well being. Therefore, the mental health of most of the people in a county indicates psychological advancement of the country as a whole.
I believe that it is not only the workplace that is responsible for influencing the mental health of the employees, but also I feel that the personal lives of the employees have great impact on the mental health. I have come to this decision after my own experience and research on the topic. So two years back I had some family problem which severely affected my mental health. In addition, I also faced some professional issue during the same time. As a result I found myself in utter distress and neither could I focus on my work nor on my family. Therefore, I realized both the professional and the personal life are capable of affecting the mental health of the person. I would like to refer here another instance that is one of the burning topics in today’s era and that is the transgender. We all know that transgender issue is one of the major discussed topics in all the countries. However, I am not talking about the government laws regarding acceptability of the transgender issues in the society. I want to highlight the mental health of the transgender and how the same is influenced and affected in the workplace (Kerekere, 2015). The identity of the transgender raise questions in the mind of the people. I have seen many people in my workplace asking silly and disappointing questions to the transgender people and I am sure it hurt them a lot. This is the colleagues with whom the transgender people are working every day, are affecting the manta health of them. In the other hand, the diversity within the workplace around race, gender, religion and others can also be the cause for disrupted mental health. Any kind of discrimination in the workplace is capable of affecting the mental health of the people and that can sometime result into serious issues. In addition, there can be people among the employees who are not mentally stable and are suffering from the some kind of mental illness. These people need to be treated in a proper and delicate way. Therefore, I believe that every organization must take care of the mental health of the employees in order to maintain the usual workflow within the workplace.
I strongly believe that the role of the employers is an important factor in influencing the mental health of the employees. I am certain that every sensible people will agree with me that the mental health of the staffs is capable of influencing the usual workflow of the organization. Hence, the employers must ensure that the employees of the organizations are having proper and healthy mental condition, and if not the employers must investigate the reasons and resolve the issues. In regard to this, I will recommend that the employers must keep an eye on the behaviors as well as on their performance in order to understand the mental health of the employees. I addition, it also comes udder the duty of the employers to support the staff who is having any kind of mental illness. Along with this, I feel the employers must implement rules and laws in the organization to stop harassment and bullying of the transgender employee as well as to eliminate any kind of discrimination which is capable of hampering the mental health of the people. However, while researching on the topic of the mental health, I found out that there is a foundation in New Zealand that supports the people to have a healthy mental condition. This charitable foundation works for the creation of the discrimination free society which can result into the wellbeing of the same both individually and as whole (Mentalhealth.org.nz, 2015). While surfing through the website of the foundation, I found it very interesting that the foundation has given five easy ways to the wellbeing of the people. It says that gives your time, words and presence to others, take notice of the simple thing that you enjoy, be active in your work and move your mood, connect to the as many people you can and finally keep learning from the every aspect of life. I personally find it very interesting and follow the same. Therefore, I would like to conclude by saying that it is within the heart and mind of the people that can ensure the wellbeing of the same.
However, I would like to conclude my discourse on the workplace diversity by saying that the reformation of the society is in the hand of the mass and that we are the savior of ourselves. I hope the rapid modernization of the society will definitely eliminate the racial, cultural, gender and religious diversity from the workplace.
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