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A PROJECT REPORT ON

WORK FORCE DIVERSITY ARE THE


CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
FOR
AN ORGANISATION
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Serial No. Topic Page No.


1. Introduction 03
--1.1 --Diversity & Diversity management 03 – 04
2. Principles of Diversity management 05
3. Categorization of Diversity management 06
4. Work Force as a challenge 06
5. Work Force as an opportunity 07
6. Strive for diversity personnel 08-09
7. Importance of Diverse Workforce 09
8. Benefits of Diverse Workforce 10
9. Management Of Diversity in Leading INC’s 10
--9.1 Accenture Diversity 11
--9.2 Google Diversity 12
--9.3 Infosys Diversity 12-13
--9.4 TCS Diversity 13-14
--9.5 Wipro Diversity 15
10. Diversity Pays 16
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11. Questionnaires 17-19


12. Limitations of Research 20
13. Conclusion 20-21
14. Bibliography 21

INTRODUCTION

Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the world is submerged in a wide
range of demographic trends which have the potential to radically change the
demographic, cultural and ethical mixture of the population in many countries
within just a few decades.

Top managers often say that their company's people are its most important
asset. In a tight job market and a global economy a company that puts people
first - regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference, or
physical disability - wins.

Companies, especially big multinational players which have to deal with these
changes, are growingly forced to react. Employees, once a homogenous group
in many countries, are increasingly diverse and need to be integrated within and
into working environments. Diversity can present an immense source of
opportunities but it can also mean the opposite, a big threat.

Diversity management is a managerial approach in response to these trends and


can help companies to effectively and efficiently manage their personnel
diversity, i.e. personnel made up of diverse and multifaceted people. The text
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argues that a diverse workforce can be regarded as an instrument of sales


promotion, a marketing tool to induce customers to buy certain products or
services.

To be successful at creating workforce diversity program involves attracting


and retaining the highest quality individuals in the talent pool. For the HR
professional it means looking beyond obvious recruitment methods and venues
for good people, then learning how to manage human potential sensitively. It
requires an ever-increasing awareness of how people from different
backgrounds deal with authority, communication, overall business etiquette,
and relate to their communities of affiliation.

Promoting workforce diversity is a process that takes place in many stages and
on many levels. It requires HR professionals first to recruit a competent and
qualified staff, then to accommodate individual needs within the context of the
work team and the organization.

In today's world of cultural diversity, our business can't thrive unless we


implement a workforce diversity initiative. Besides tapping into the unique
abilities and talents of people from different backgrounds, we can improve our
image in the community by opening up a place of business to anyone regardless
of race, color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability.

What is diversity?

Diversity to us means all aspects in which people differ from one another. This
includes both the visible and relatively easily demonstrable personal
characteristics such as gender, age and ethnicity, as well as the less visible
personal characteristics, such as competencies, needs and wants, work styles
and character traits. Each employee has his or her own, unique combination of
such characteristics. Another definition describes diversity as creating high
performing organizations through valuing and using all the talents of employees
of different groups. Regardless of how diversity is defined, it is an issue that is
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sweeping the nation. If the corporate society does not address the issue by
learning how to manage diversity, they will fail.

“It is very helpful to suggest that diversity is not so much an end in itself as it
is a condition of our society and the condition of the World in which we live.”

Frank Wong

Vice President for Academic Affairs

University of Redlan

Diversity Management

Managing diversity is one of the most important challenges faced by managers


and their organizations. In today’s work environment, co-workers are likely to
be of different gender, age, religion, cultural background, race and ethnicity.
They also differ in terms of lifestyle, choices available, perspectives, attitudes,
value system, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, skills and experiences. These
issues are not just about discriminatory practices but they modify the nature and
demands placed on leadership and management and bring into prominence the
concept of diversity. How well or how prepared managers are able to invest in
the concept of diversity will impact not just on work issues but also on
sensitivity to customer’s needs, legal compliance, business’ ethical issues,
profitability and even social cohesion.

Diversity management is a strategic process to manage a diverse workforce-


including the fight against stereotypes, prejudice and all kind of discrimination
due to the individual perceptions and assumptions- in the manner to maximize
the benefit and minimize barriers of different opinions, behavior and attitudes
of human beings within a company.

PRINCIPLES OF DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT


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Diversity
Managemen
t
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Categorization of Diversity Management

Diversity management can be divided into two categories-

1. The internal effect has an influence on organizational structural changes


within the company.

2. The external effect concerns the environment of the company e.g.


customers, stakeholders, suppliers etc.

The concept of diversity management is extensive; there are various


components of diversity as follows:

Diversity of ethnicity, nationality and cultures

Diversity of demography (gender, age and experience)

Diversity of competencies (educational and professional backgrounds)

Diversity of organizational functions and processes

Diversity of networks (i.e. relationships and communications channels and/or


patterns etc.)
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Miscellaneous diversity (sexual preferences, occupational disabilities,

i.e. handicap or physical mobility, etc.)

Work Force as a challenge

First, there is an increase in the cost of training. This increase comes from costs
associated with seminars, programs and lectures given to promote diversity in
the corporation. These types of training are given to all levels of staff within the
organization. They teach employees others. These programs also teach one how
to deal with conflicts and prejudice in a professional and civil manner.

A disadvantage of diversity in the workplace is an increase in conflicts.


Conflicts arise when two or more individuals or groups do not see eye to eye on
a particular situation. In regard to diversity, conflicts arise largely due to
ignorance. Prejudice feelings or derogatory comments cause a lack of
acceptance. “This can produce negative dynamics such as ethnocentrism,
stereotyping and culture clashes”. The most common conflict comes from one
feeling superior. If management ignores such conflicts, the company's
performance may suffer. If conflicts can be managed and controlled creativity

and performance can be increased. Employers will work harder to gain


acceptance by creating a solution or invention first.

Increases in labor turnover and absenteeism are another disadvantage in having


a diverse workplace. Research has shown that the turnover rate for African
Ameri-Ongori and Agolla 075cans in the US workforce is 40 percent greater
than whites.
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Another study by Corning Glass stated that between the years 1980 - 1987, the
turnover rate for women in a professional job was two times higher than males.

Women also have a 58 percent higher absentee rate than men. Yet, another
study shows that a person, who is not a member of the “inner group”, will be
one of the first to leave a company (White, 1999). Some research contradicts

the idea that flextime reduces these rates; however absenteeism and turnover
can cost a company up to and over $3 million annually.

Workforce diversity increases labor turnover and absenteeism in organizations


on employee satisfaction and productivity. Employees who perceive themselves
as valued members of their organization are harder working, involved, and
innovative. Unfortunately, minority-group members often feel less valued than
do majority-group members due to stereotyping, ethnocentrism, and prejudice.
Mismanagement of diversity in the form of denied access or unfavorable
treatment can have negative consequences, such as inhibiting workers' abilities
and motivation.

Work Force as an Opportunity

Managing diversity can create a competitive advantage. Potential benefits of


this diversity include better decision making, higher creativity and innovation,
greater success in marketing to foreign and domestic ethnic minority
communities, and a better distribution of economic opportunity.

Organizations with a diverse workforce can provide superior services because


they can better understand customers’ needs.

Diversity enhances creativity and innovation (Adler, 1997; Jackson et al.,


1992), and produces competitive advantages.
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Why should we strive for diversity in personnel?

An often heard argument to avoid having to put energy into diversity is that it
only leads to misunderstanding, undesired formation of groups, communication
problems and conflicts in the work force. When put like this, paying attention
to diversity seems a useless investment.

But demographic developments cannot be ignored. In situations like labor


shortage, organizations cannot permit themselves to exclude a substantial part
of the labor force. Diversity in personnel has different advantages pertaining to
business economics:

Attraction for a wider group of customers: more people can identify with the

organization. This could increase your turnover;

More creativity within the organization: diversity leads to innovative products


and services, which is necessary to compete with other businesses;

An improved business image: more people see you as an ’employer of choice’.
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Diversity covers a wide variety of issues, including communicating with


employees, whose first language is not English, helping a diverse team cope
with conflict, learning which rewards are valued by different groups, and
dealing with discrimination. Managers can improve handling of diversity issues
by following these eight behaviors.

Embrace diversity: Successfully valuing diversity starts with accepting the


principle of multiculturalism. Accept the value of diversity for its own sake —
not simply because you have to. You need to reflect your acceptance in all you
say and do.

Recruit broadly: When you have job openings, work to get a diverse applicant
pool. Avoid relying on referrals from current employees, since this tends to
produce candidates similar to your present workforce.

Select fairly: Make sure your selection process doesn’t discriminate.


Particularly, ensure that selection tests are job-related.

Provide orientation and training for minorities: Making the transition from
outsider to insider can be particularly difficult for nontraditional employees.

Sensitize all employees: Encourage all employees to embrace diversity.


Provide diversity training to help all employees see the value in diversity.

Strive to be flexible: Part of valuing diversity is recognizing that different


groups have different needs and values. Be flexible in accommodating
employee requests
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Seek to motivate individually: You need to be aware of the background,


cultures, and values of employees. What motivates a si0ngle mother with two
young children and who is working full time to support her family is likely to
be different from the needs of a young, single, part-time employee or an older
employee who is working to supplement his or her retirement income.

Encourage employees to embrace and value diverse views: Create traditions


and ceremonies that promote diversity. Celebrate diversity by accentuating its
positive aspects. But also be prepared to deal with the challenges of diversity
such as mistrust, miscommunication, and lack of cohesiveness, attitudinal
differences, and stress.

IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSE WORKFORCE

Our Nation is made up of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, customs


and beliefs. It is those differences that contribute to the richness and strength of
our society. Like our Nation, the workforce Is also becoming more and more
diverse. As a result, in order to recruit, hire and retain the best people from
every background and community, we must foster diversity in our workforce,
manage it effectively, and value what it has to offer. A diverse workforce is
critical for any organization that seeks to improve and maintain a competitive
advantage. Focusing on diversity and looking for ways to achieve an inclusive
environment is not just a “nice to have objective,” it makes a good

business sense. A diverse workforce offers greater productivity and a


competitive edge. Diversity improves the quality of our workforce and offers
a higher return on our investment in human capital. Our agency’s future
depends on the quality of employees we recruit today. New employees often
consider an organization’s diversity efforts when deciding whether to accept or
reject an employment offer. Potential candidates are usually more attracted to
employers that are committed to sustaining a diverse workforce. Moreover,
diverse perspectives increase creativity as they offer different perspectives,
ideas and solutions.
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BENFITS

People have a lot of viewpoints and having people from many backgrounds and
places in life brings a lot of those viewpoints into the mix. In some situations, a
lot of viewpoints give us a lot of options. Plus, since there are many different
viewpoints and environments in the workers, there are many opportunities for
these different viewpoints to come into the planning of strategic initiatives,
allowing the firm to serve a wider group of consumers and interests. The
Various .advantages of having a diverse workforce are the following;

1. It helps motivating employees.

2. It enhances the innovation and creativity of employees.

3. It helps in reducing cost.

4. It creates flexibility in the organization.

5. Immediate access to problem solving.

6. Easy transfer of knowledge.

7. Better marketing structure.

8. Innovative work environment.

9. Immediate outcomes.

10. Fulfillment of social responsibility.

11. It helps attract and retain employees.


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Management of Diversity in leading INC’s


A manager or the superior must be aware of the background, cultures, and values
of employees. The motivation factors for a full time working mother to
support her two young children are different from the needs of a young,
single, part-time employee or an older employee who is working to
supplement his or her retirement.

ACCENTURE DIVERSITY

“Accenture is passionately committed to cultivating a diverse workforce both


because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s a key element of achieving high
performance,” said Armelle Carminati-Rabasse, Accenture’s managing
director of Human Capital and Diversity globally. “Our company
comprises people from a wide range of cultural, educational and
geographic backgrounds–people who are able to challenge conventional
thought, offer unique perspectives and generate innovative ideas. Our rich
diversity is part of what makes our company strong.”

In an independent study commissioned by Accenture on cross-cultural


communication problems, it was found that the chief factors causing
problems between onshore and offshore workers were different
communication styles (76 per cent of the times), different approaches to
completing talks (53 per cent), different attitudes toward conflict (44 per
cent) and different decision-making styles (44 per cent). About 200 US
business executives whose companies have outsourced business processes
outside the country were interviewed here.
"We know the markets we serve are growing increasingly diverse and we are
proud of how diversity management has become part of our day-to-day
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business practices," said Clyde Jones, ADP Vice President and Chief Diversity
Officer. "To consistently take our business growth to the next level and beyond,
we must do the same regarding our commitment to diversity. This recognition
from DiversityInc is an important acknowledgement that we have continued to
move in the right direction."

GOOGLE DIVERSITY

"Diversity plays a large role in the way we're developing our engineering
organization around the world. We're building a large worldwide office
presence to establish ample global representation among our engineers, and
we're applying that same focus to establish a balanced representation of
employees at Google. In the end, these efforts help us more accurately and
relevantly represent our users, and our continued success depends on the best
minds working from different perspectives and insights."
Alan Eustace - Google SVP, Engineering & Research

INFOSYS DIVERSITY

Globalization has changed the character of the modern workplace global


company’s employee base should reflect the diversity of the world it serves.
Infosys strives to employ people representing the widest possible variety of
nationalities, cultures, genders and gender identities, sexual orientations,
employment histories, and levels of physical ability. In doing so, the company
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is able to recruit new employees from all available global talent pools and
provide paths to employment to all members of world societies, including
talented individuals from groups who may have in the past been
underrepresented within the IT industry. Within such a diverse company, people
bring to the workplace contrasting opinions and worldviews. As these people
interact, they develop new ideas, methods, and perspectives. Infosys recognizes
and promotes this power of diversity to drive innovation.

Infosys actively fosters inclusivity across all of its business units and in every
one of its company offices. It encourages all employees to focus on the
commonalities they share and leverage their differences towards productive
teamwork. Inclusivity ultimately makes for a more informed and sensitive
employee base that is better able to serve clients.

Infosys was the first Indian IT company to establish a company office to


manage and drive all company initiatives dealing with diversity and inclusion.
Today they have employees from over 70 countries. Women constitute more
than 32% of their workforce.

Infosys Women Inclusivity Network (IWIN) promotes a gender-sensitive work


environment. IWIN recognizes the unique aspirations and needs of women. It
provides avenues for vocational, personal and psychological counsel to enable
professional and personal development. Infosys won the first NASSCOM-India
Today corporate award for excellence in gender inclusivity in 2007. Infosys
actively seeks to hire and train persons with disabilities. In 2006 and 2007,
Infosys BPO received the Helen Keller award for the best employer from the
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).
Infosys announced an intake of 300 graduates from universities in the US in
2006 and about 25 from universities in the UK in 2007 as part of its
commitment to create a diversified workforce. The new employees will develop
their engineering skills at Infosys Development Centers across India for six
months before returning to Infosys offices in the US.

TCS DIVERSITY
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Diversity in companies is no longer about being melting pots, but being salad
bowls," according to Grady Searcy. "We want people to retain their identity yet
be integrated into the company Currently, 7.5 per cent of our workforce
consists of non-Indians," said Mr. S PADMANABHAN,EXECUTIVE VICE
PRESIDENT and head Global human resource, TCS said while speaking at the
NASSCOM HR Summit on `The War for Talent' held recently in Chennai. In a
session on managing cross-cultural teams, speakers emphasized that managing
a diverse workforce is no longer a choice, but an imperative.

The Indian workplace is no different from global MNCs.TCS has announced


plans to hire about 4,000 people from across the world.

Geographical culture
A diverse organization is shaped or influenced by the basic corporate culture,
which comes from the vision and mission of the founder-promoter. Then there's
the influence of the geographical culture. The company is largely influenced by
the personal culture of the people at the mid-management and senior
management levels. Then, surprisingly, it is also shaped by the client culture.

Outlining some of the challenges for companies opting for an increasingly


diverse and global workforce, Kalyanaraman said that as workers are
increasingly relocating and migration is on the rise, organizations need to
devise retention strategies with "a passionate focus on individual, team and
geo-wise expectation charts." He recommends that companies should conduct a
deep study of issues such as worldwide compensation and aspiration
benchmarks. "No two countries have the same retirement benefits," said
Padmanabhan of TCS. Therefore, policies have to be diverse enough to
accommodate all demographic and social fabrics, pointed out Kalyanaraman of
HCL.
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Ethnic background of the workforce in the companies

Source:-Kristiansand University

WIPRO DIVERSITY

Wipro launched of its Women of Wipro (WoW) initiative, coinciding with the
international Women's Day. Wipro honored its women workforce with the title
of 'Green Ambassadors' besides felicitating women achievers.
The WoW initiative has been launched as a chapter of the Wipro's Diversity
Council, as the company's Green Ambassadors will influence a change in the
environment by undertaking various projects that emphasize on the aspect of
'Green'.
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The initiative will be driven by the Green Ambassadors at a personal level.


WoW will also work towards creating visibility for its female leadership, both
internally and externally. Building sustainable and growing networks that
contribute to the success of business, the community and self-development
would be the other highlight of initiative.

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said: "In Corporate India, I have been seeing
very positive shifts in the last few decades that have made it easier for women
to contribute to organizational growth. There are many instances where the so-
called glass ceiling has been shattered. There is no doubt that having more
women in an organization can help in making it more profitable."

Eco Bags specially made for women employees were given away on the
occasion. The 'Eco-Bag' contains quick and easy list of green steps, called
"Shades of Green". Going forward, the WOW charter will include several
initiatives that have a significant social impact and where women can play a
catalytic role in ushering change. The Core Diversity Council has been set up to
breathe life into these initiatives so that they don't remain buried in a
PowerPoint presentation. The council consists of representatives from every
function at a senior level.
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DIVERSITY PAYS

Today, with growing global consensus that workforce diversity is important,


what trends do we see in India? If we take women in the workforce as a prime
indicator, there is no question that the signs are encouraging. But are they
similar across the country? Do companies big and small drive the change with
the same vigor? Are we witnessing these trends across industries or only in
more 'progressive' sectors? And more importantly, are an increasing number of
women assuming senior leadership positions?
As a nation we have much to be proud of. Throughout the rich history of our
nation, women have occupied positions of leadership, and have made a mark on
the world stage. However, we have much to worry about as well. Female
infanticide and low levels of female literacy indicate that many sections of our
society are yet to accord an equal status to women.

So what is the connection? It is simple but important, businesses in India have


a responsibility to send a strong message by their actions - everybody counts.

This will not be easy. How do we get there if our start point is three women in a
workforce of hundreds? As always, we have to begin at the top. If the captains
don't get it; then we shouldn't start! Let's not forget, in this talent scarce market
companies (should) want to attract people of all backgrounds, promote gender
diversity and spread the talent net as wide as possible. And frankly, once a
company builds a diverse team the pay back is through superior performance.
Workforce diversity is an obligation to shareholders, to society and to
employees.

Effective diversity measures and evaluation processes that determine the ROI
of diversity management can provide an organization with invaluable
information to support key business imperatives--such as the impact of
diversity training and areas of improvement needed for recruitment strategies.
Further, diversity initiatives that receive public acknowledgment through
awards (e.g., Diversity In Top 50 Companies for Diversity) help attract bright
talent and positively affect company brand and reputation.
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Questionnaires

1. What are the sources of diversity in a workplace?


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3. What are the net new entrants into the workforce between 1994 and
2007?
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3. Percentage of ethnic directors in Corporate Boards?


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4. Is Diversity has a positive influence on the performance of employees?

Categories Yes No
Employees 25 75

5. Surveying 120 companies, for the knowledge about the benefits of the Diversity
Management concept

Therefore key elements to managing diversity include effective communication,


education and training for all members of the organization.
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Limitations of the Research:

During the making of this project we crossed with different limitations. Some of
them are as follows:

There is a lack of communication skills between the group members.


• Problems in finding of data for the research.

• Different educational background of group members.

• Time constraint.

CONCLUSION

The extent to which managers recognize diversity and its potential advantages and
disadvantages defines an organization’s approach to managing the diversity. No
organization in this world of globalization would survive without workforce
diversity. It is the duty of the management to critically evaluate the benefits of
workforce diversity in their organization. On the other hand the management
should put in place conditions which would enhance the workforce diversity in
their organizations, more especially in their strategies formulation on the diversity
of workforce. Hence, with the diversity of the workforce, the organization would
be internally and externally competitive. Although, the process of diversification of
organizations has six stages: denial; recognition; acceptance;
appreciation; valuing; and utilization. It is believed that organizations should put in
place strategies to enhance workforce diversity. In terms of organizational
learning, organizations are still stuck on the problem of getting people to value
diversity and have not yet determined ways to utilize and exploit it . It is the
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approach to diversity, not the diversity itself which determines the actual positive
and negative outcomes. Managing diversity in organizations absolutely dependent
upon the acceptance of some primary objectives to which employees are willing to
commit, such as the survival of the firm. In today's fast-paced work environment a
successful organization is one where diversity is the norm and not the exception.
Workforce diversity can have both positive and negative outcomes in
organizations. We argued that an important consideration while examining both
these outcomes of team diversity is the demographic context in which teams
function. diversity behaviors in organizations is incomplete without acknowledging
the role of a broader organizational context in shaping these behaviors.

Thus it is more of a challenge which later becomes an opportunity for an


organization in different aspect.

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