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Workplace Diversity: The Standard, Not the Exception

by Valerie Cole, on February 01, 2018
A Changed Workplace
I have been working in recruiting and staffing for the past forty-one years and I love how it has evolved.  In the early days of my career, I would receive requests to fill a position and the conversation would go something like this, “Please send us a young, pretty girl straight out of college with strong secretarial skills and a nice smile.” Yes, can you believe people actually made such requests? Back then, many employers used stereotypes to make selections in hiring. At the time, employers didn’t realize what they were missing out on not being purposeful in searching for the best qualified candidate for the position.  Instead, they tried to fill the job based on image. Now, we have taken huge steps forward in realizing the need for a diverse workforce.

Fast forward to 2018. Diversity in the workplace is not a new concept. Instead of what used to be the typical choice for a secretary (are they even called secretaries anymore?), these days you find a great mix of characteristics in people who are the first point of contact for many organizations.  Diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, class, disabilities and much more. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Companies have implemented initiatives to explore the differences between people in their organization and use this knowledge to improve their services. Having a program in place that helps to strengthen the understanding among different groups of people helps build a successful organization.

More About Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Programs:

How to Develop a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative - SHRM
How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right - Fortune
How to Make Diversity and Inclusion Real - Harvard Business Review

As business becomes more global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Our success and competitiveness will depend on our ability to effectively manage a diverse workforce.  Supervisors and managers need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is evolving. This globalization requires more interaction among people from all types of backgrounds.  Having a diverse workforce can provide a greater variety of solutions to problems encountered in your business. Employees from different backgrounds bring experiences, ideas and solutions which can help your business improve.  This provides you with a larger pool of ideas which will have varying points of view.

It is critical when creating a diversity program to understand, accept and value the differences in the workforce.  By embracing diversity and becoming an inclusive organization, this can lead to new and creative approaches for doing business.  The goal is for these positive changes to increase work performance and lead your company to success. 

The Next Step
Ready to incorporate a Diversity and Inclusion Program in your workplace? Our Human Resources consultants can help. Contact us today to get started!
Valerie Cole

Valerie Cole, CSP is a Senior Human Resource Specialist who works with potential applicants to help them find rewarding employment in their field of expertise. With over 40 years in the staffing industry, Valerie believes utilizing a staffing service is beneficial to both applicants and companies. Valerie is a Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) through the American Staffing Association, and holds an Associate of Science degree from Pensacola Junior College (now Pensacola State College). In her spare time, Valerie enjoys volunteering at her church where she serves on several committees: Hospitality Christmas Caravan, Christopher’s Concert and Chalice Administrator. She also likes crafting and working in her flower garden.

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