1 HR 582 Research Project, Diversity Analysis and Comparison Eric Price, Ifraz Meya, Ryan Lee Keller Graduate School Managing Diversity
2 Executive Summary: Diversity is a major part of America’s identity in terms of its demographics and workplace makeup. As diversity grows in the workforce companies who understand how to utilize diversity as a source of competitive advantage are emerging as the frontrunners in the new workforce culture. This paper is designed to gain a better understand of how closely local demographic trends are carried over to the workplace. It is intended to provide realistic data by pulling actual diversity trends from three companies with significant operations in Utah and comparing their numbers to those of the local population. Additionally, employees from the three sample companies will be questioned on their understanding of workplace diversity and the role that they feel it plays in day to day operations. The American workforce continues to drastically change. “In the 1950’s more than 60% of the workforce consisted of white men,” (Stoltz-Loike, 2009). Today, the American workforce is built much differently and more closely reflects the population with a significant mix of genders, races, religions, ages and many other background factors. Along with the significant influx of diversity in the workforce comes the need to understand the complexities, challenges and potential that it brings to the workforce. Diversity is a fluid concept that is unique in both definition and application for each company. At its core diversity is about learning from others who are not the same. It is the process of creating workplace environments that encourage and utilize the advantages of diverse perspectives. According to an article published by Cornell University “diversity should complement non-discrimination compliance programs by enabling the creation of workplace
3 environments and organizational cultures that focus on diversity as a strategic advantage,” (Susan Woods, 2010). In today’s business world the long-term success of any business will depend on its ability to embrace and frequently access the power of its diverse culture. A company’s diversity represents a unique body of talent that can bring fresh ideas, perspectives and views to their work and decision making processes. If utilized a company’s diversity can be a source of tremendous competitive advantage. The challenge that diversity poses, therefore, is to enable managers to capitalize on the mixture of genders, cultural backgrounds, ages and lifestyles to respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively. “The reality is a company’s competition can obtain capital and technology — and they can match even the most creative pricing strategies. However, it’s more difficult to recreate a culture, value system, operating principles, leadership
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