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Managing Diversity  243

CHAPTER 13

MANAGING DIVERSITY

CHAPTER OUTLINE

Do You Have a Gender and Authority Bias?


I. Diversity in the Workplace
A. Diversity in Corporate America
B. Diversity on a Global Scale
II. Managing Diversity
A. Diversity and Inclusion
B. Diversity of Perspective
B. Dividends of Workplace Diversity
III. Factors Shaping Personal Bias
A. Workplace Prejudice, Discrimination, and Stereotypes
New Manager Self-Test: Valuing Workplace Diversity
B. Ethnocentrism
IV. Factors Affecting Women’s Careers
A. The Glass Ceiling
B. Opt-Out Trend
C. The Female Advantage
V. Diversity Initiatives and Programs
A. Enhancing Structures and Policies
B. Expanding Recruitment Efforts
C. Establishing Mentor Relationships
D. Increasing Awareness of Sexual Harassment
E. Encouraging Employee Affinity Groups

ANNOTATED LEARNING OBJECTIVES


After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Describe the pervasive demographic changes occurring in the domestic and global
marketplace and how corporations are responding.

The importance of cultural diversity and employee attitudes that welcome cultural differences
will result from the inevitable changes taking place in the workplace, in our society, and in the
economic environment. These changes include globalization and the changing workforce. In the
past, the United States was a place where people of different national origins, ethnicities, races,
and religions came together and blended to resemble one another. Opportunities for
advancement were limited to those workers who fit easily into the mainstream of the larger
culture. Now organizations recognize that everyone is not the same and that the differences
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244  Chapter 13

people bring to the workplace are valuable. Companies are learning that these differences enable
them to compete globally and to acquire rich sources of new talent. Most organizations must
undertake conscious efforts to shift from a monoculture perspective to one of pluralism.
Management activities required for a culturally diverse workforce starts with top managers who
can help shape organizational values and employee mindsets about cultural differences. In
addition training programs can promote knowledge and acceptance of diverse cultures and
educate managers on valuing the differences.

2. Explain how the definition of diversity has grown to recognize a broad spectrum of
differences among employees, the importance of fostering a sense of inclusion, and the
dividends of a diverse workforce.

Diversity is defined as all the ways in which employees differ. Many companies once defined
diversity in terms of race, age, gender, lifestyle, and disability. Today, companies are embracing
a more inclusive definition of diversity that recognizes a spectrum of differences that influence
how employees approach work, interact with each other, derive satisfaction from their work, and
define who they are as people in the workplace.

Managing diversity, a key management skill in today’s global economy, means creating a climate
in which the potential advantages of diversity for organizational or group performance are
maximized, while the potential disadvantages are minimized.

3. Identify the complex attitudes, opinions, and issues that people bring to the workplace,
including prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, and ethnocentrism.

Prejudice is the tendency to view people who are different as being deficient. Discrimination
occurs when people act out their prejudicial attitudes toward other people who are targets of their
prejudice. Although blatant discrimination is not as widespread as in the past, bias in the
workplace often shows up in subtle ways. A stereotype is a rigid, exaggerated, irrational belief
associated with a particular group of people. To be successful managing diversity, managers
need to eliminate harmful stereotypes from their thinking, shedding any biases that negatively
affect the workplace.

Stereotype threat describes the psychological experience of a person who, usually engaged in a
task, is aware of a stereotype about his or her identity group suggesting that he or she will not
perform well on that task. People most affected by stereotype threat are those we consider as
disadvantaged in the workplace due to negative stereotypes–racial and ethnic minorities,
members of lower socioeconomic classes, women, older people, gay and bisexual men, and
people with disabilities.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own group and subculture are inherently superior to other
groups and cultures, thus making it difficult to value diversity. The business world tends to
reflect values, behaviors, and assumptions based on the experiences of a homogeneous, white,
middle-class, male workforce. Most management theories presume workers share similar values,
beliefs, motivations, and attitudes about work and life in general.

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Managing Diversity  245

4. Summarize the factors that affect women’s opportunities, including the glass ceiling, the opt-
out trend, and the female advantage.

The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that separates women and minorities from top
management positions. They can look up through the ceiling and see top management, but
prevailing attitudes and stereotypes are invisible obstacles to their own advancement. Women
and minorities are often excluded from informal manager networks and don’t get access to the
type of general and line management experience required for moving to the top. Glass walls
serve as invisible barriers to important lateral movement within the organization.

Many women choose to get off the fast track long before they hit the glass ceiling. In this opt-
out trend, highly-educated, professional women are deciding that corporate success isn’t worth
the price in terms of reduced family and personal time. Some are opting out to be stay-at-home
moms, while others want to continue working, but just not in the kind of fast-paced, competitive,
aggressive environment that exists in most corporations. Critics argue that this is just another
way to blame women themselves for the dearth of female managers at higher levels.

Some people think women might actually be better managers, partly because of a more
collaborative, less hierarchical, relationship-oriented approach that is in tune with today’s global
and multicultural environment. As attitudes and values change with changing generations, the
qualities women seem to possess may lead to a gradual role reversal in organizations. Women of
all races and ethnic groups are outpacing men in earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Over
all, women’s participation in both the labor force and civic affairs has steadily increased since the
mid-1950s, while men’s participation has slowly but steadily declined.

5. Describe how diversity initiatives, mentor relationships, and training programs help create a
climate that values diversity.

One of the most successful structures for eliminating the glass ceiling is the mentoring
relationship. Mentoring provides minorities and women with direct training and inside
information on the norms and expectations of the organization.

Many top managers are often unaware of the special needs of employees who are single parents,
are non-English-speaking, or have elderly parents. Alternative work scheduling may be
important for these groups of workers. Another issue is that racial/ethnic minorities and
immigrants have had fewer educational opportunities than other groups. Some companies work
with high schools to provide fundamental skills in literacy and math, or the provide programs
within the company to upgrade employees to appropriate educational levels.

Most of today’s organizations provide special training, called diversity training, to help people
identify their own cultural boundaries, prejudices, and stereotypes and develop the skills for
managing and working in a diverse workplace. The first step is typically diversity awareness
training to make employees aware of the assumptions they make and to increase people’s
sensitivity and openness to those who are different from them. The next step is diversity skills
training to help people learn how to communicate and work effectively in a diverse environment.

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246  Chapter 13

6. Explain how employee affinity groups help organizations respond to the rapidly changing
and complex workplace.

Employee affinity groups are based on social identity, such as gender or race, and are organized
by employees to focus on concerns of employees from that group. The idea behind affinity
groups is that minority employees can join together across traditional organizational boundaries
for mutual support and to extend member influence in the organization. An important
characteristic of affinity groups is that employees, not the organization, form them and
membership is voluntary. There has been a rapid growth of employee network groups for
minorities who have faced barriers to advancement in organizations.

LECTURE OUTLINE

DO YOU HAVE A GENDER AND AUTHORITY BIAS?

Research indicates that women often have better leadership skills than men, yet implicit attitudes
may link men to high-authority roles and women to low-authority roles. A student’s score
indicates his or her attitude toward men and women in authority. A perfectly balanced attitude
toward gender and authority would be a score of 0, A high positive score favors men in authority
roles. A high negative score favors women.

I. DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE Exhibit 13.1

A. Diversity in Corporate America Exhibit 13.2, Exhibit 13.3

1. Managers are learning that the differences people bring to the workplace enable their
companies to compete globally and tap into rich sources of new talent. Moreover,
vast changes are occurring in today’s workplace and consumer base. The average
worker is older now, and many more women, people of color, and immigrants are
seeking job and advancement opportunities.

a. Unprecedented generational diversity. Today’s workforce is in a state of flux as a


blend of three generations (Baby Boom, Gen-X, and Gen-Y) present new
management challenges.

b. Aging workers. A baby boomer turns 60 every seven seconds, continuously


bumping up the average age of the workforce. While the number of workers
between 25 and 45 years old is expected to decline from 66.9 percent to 63.7
percent by 2020, the number of baby boomers age 55 years and older will leap
from 19.5 percent to 25.2 in the same period.

c. Increased diversity. Foreign-born workers make up 16 percent of the U.S.


workforce and are most likely employed in service industries, such as food
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Managing Diversity  247

preparation, cleaning, and maintenance. Of the total number of foreign-born


workers, nearly half are Hispanic and 23 percent are Asian.

d. Growth in women workers. Today, women outnumber men in the workplace, and
their numbers are projected to grow slightly faster, at 7.4 percent compared to 6.3
percent for men.

2. The ability of organizations to manage diversity has not kept pace with these
demographic trends, thus creating a number of significant challenges for minority
workers and women. Corporations that truly value diversity will recognize pay
inequality and discrimination in the workplace and make progress toward eliminating
them.

B. Diversity on a Global Scale

1. Managers across the globe wrestle with many of the same diversity challenges as U.S.
managers, especially concerning the progression of women into upper management
positions. To boost the percentage of women on the corporate boards of European
countries, the European Union is studying whether to introduce quotas across the
continent.

2. Japanese companies have an even greater struggle to bridge the gender gap on
corporate boards. Part of it is relates to tepid economic growth and societal
expectations. The progression of women into executive positions continues to be
slow in both U.S. and global corporations, but innovative companies are initiating
programs to boost women’s advancement into higher levels of responsibility.

Discussion Question #2: Evaluate your own experiences so far with people from other
backgrounds. How well do you think those experiences prepared you to understand the unique
needs and dilemmas of a diverse workforce?

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

II. MANAGING DIVERSITY

A. Diversity and Inclusion Exhibit 13.4

1. Diversity is defined as all the ways in which employees differ. Many companies
once defined diversity in terms of race, age, gender, lifestyle, and disability. Today,
companies are embracing a more inclusive definition of diversity that recognizes a
spectrum of differences that influence how employees approach work, interact with
each other, derive satisfaction from their work, and define who they are as people in
the workplace.

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part . , except for
use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website for classroom use.
248  Chapter 13

2. Inclusion is the degree to which an employee feels like an esteemed member of a


group in which his or her uniqueness is highly appreciated. Inclusion creates a strong
sense of belonging where all people can have their voices heard and appreciated.

3. Managing diversity, a key management skill in today’s global economy, means


creating a climate in which the potential advantages of diversity for organizational or
group performance are maximized while the potential disadvantages are minimized.

B. Diversity of Perspective

1. Diversity of perspective is achieved when a manager creates a heterogeneous team


made up of individuals with diverse background and skill sets.

2. By tapping into the strengths of diversity, teams are more likely to experience higher
efficiency, better quality, less duplication of effort among team members, and
increased innovation and creativity.

C. Dividends of Workplace Diversity Exhibit 13.5

3. Corporations that build strong, diverse organizations reap numerous dividends,


including:

a. Better use of employee talent. Companies with the best talent are the ones with
the best competitive advantage.

b. Increased understanding of the marketplace. A diverse workforce is better able to


anticipate and respond to changing consumer needs.

c. Enhanced breadth of understanding in leadership positions. Diverse top


management teams tend to be less myopic in their perspectives.

d. Increased quality of team problem solving. Teams with diverse backgrounds


bring different perspectives to a discussion that result in more creative ideas and
solutions.

e. Reduced costs associated with high turnover, absenteeism, and lawsuits.


Companies that foster a diverse workforce reduce turnover, absenteeism, and the
risk of lawsuits.

Discussion Question#3: Until Sheryl Sandberg was promoted to chief operating officer of
Facebook in 2012, its board was composed of only men. Yet a majority of Facebook’s 845
million users are women. Given this demographic, explain how Facebook might benefit from
increasing the presence of women on its corporate board.

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
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Managing Diversity  249

______________________________________________________________________________

III. FACTORS SHAPING PERSONAL BIAS

A. Workplace Prejudice, Discrimination, and Stereotypes Exhibit 13.6

1. Prejudice is the tendency to view people who are different as being deficient.
Discrimination occurs when people act out their prejudicial attitudes toward other
people who are targets of their prejudice. Although blatant discrimination is not as
widespread as in the past, bias in the workplace often shows up in subtle ways. A
stereotype is a rigid, exaggerated, irrational belief associated with a particular group
of people. To be successful managing diversity, managers need to eliminate harmful
stereotypes from their thinking, shedding any biases that negatively affect the
workplace. Managers can learn to value differences, which means they recognize
cultural differences and see them with an appreciative attitude.

2. Stereotype threat describes the psychological experience of a person who, usually


engaged in a task, is aware of a stereotype about his or her identity group suggesting
that he or she will not perform well on that task. People most affected by stereotype
threat are those we consider as disadvantaged in the workplace due to negative
stereotypes–racial and ethnic minorities, members of lower socioeconomic classes,
women, older people, gay and lesbian individuals, and people with disabilities.

NEW MANAGER SELF-TEST: VALUING WORKPLACE DIVERSITY

This exercise helps students understand their attitudes towards workplace diversity reflected in
their personal values.

B. Ethnocentrism

1. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own group and subculture are inherently
superior to other groups and cultures, thus making it difficult to value diversity. The
business world tends to reflect values, behaviors, and assumptions based on the
experiences of a homogeneous, white, middle-class, male workforce. Most
management theories presume workers share similar values, beliefs, motivations,
and attitudes about work and life in general.

2. Ethnocentric viewpoints produce a monoculture that accepts only one way of doing
things and one set of values and beliefs. These assumptions create a dilemma for
people of color, women, gay people, disabled, the elderly, and others who feel
pressure to conform and are presumed deficient because of differences. Valuing
diversity means ensuring that all people are given equal opportunities in the
workplace.

3. The goal for organizations seeking cultural diversity is pluralism rather than a
monoculture and ethnorelativism rather than ethnocentrism. Ethnorelativism is the
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250  Chapter 13

belief that groups and subcultures are inherently equal. Pluralism means an
organization accommodates several subcultures. It seeks to fully integrate into the
organization the employees who feel isolated and ignored. Most organizations are
making a conscious effort to shift from a monoculture to pluralism.

Discussion Question #6: If talkative men are viewed as powerful and competent, why do you
think talkative women are seen as less capable and pushy? Do you think this perception would
be different in an organization with a large percentage of female managers at top levels?

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

IV. FACTORS AFFECTING WOMEN’S CAREERS

A. The Glass Ceiling

1. The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that exists for women and minorities that
limits their upward mobility in organizations. They can look up through the ceiling
and see top management, but prevailing attitudes and stereotypes are invisible
obstacles to their own advancement. This barrier also impedes the career progress of
minorities.

2. In particular, Asian managers bump up against the bamboo ceiling, a combination of


cultural and organizational barriers that impede Asians’ career progress.

3. To break through the glass ceiling into senior management roles, top executives
suggest female and minority managers follow this advice:

a. Be assertive and ask for what you want. Many Asian managers have found
themselves stereotyped as “not top manager material” because they are too quiet
and unassertive. Women in general are also uncomfortable asking for what they
want, for fear of being perceived as too aggressive or too selfish.

b. Highlight your achievements. Women tend to downplay their


accomplishments and
insights to avoid being judged as unfeminine..

Discussion Question #7: What are the glass ceiling and bamboo ceiling, and why do you think
they have proven to be such a barrier to women and minorities?

Notes_________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

B. Opt-Out Trend
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Managing Diversity  251

1. Many women choose to get off the fast track long before they hit the glass ceiling. In
this opt-out trend, highly-educated, professional women are deciding that corporate
success isn’t worth the price in terms of reduced family and personal time. Some are
opting out to be stay-at-home moms, while others want to continue working, but just
not in the kind of fast-paced, competitive, aggressive environment that exists in most
corporations. Critics argue that this is just another way to blame women themselves
for the dearth of female managers at higher levels.

2, Another contributor to the opt-out issue is the queen bee syndrome, a


term that refers to a
female boss who not only has no interest in fostering the careers of
other women but might
even actively undermine them.

Discussion Question #9: Why do you think a large number of women are opting out of corporate
management? Discuss whether this trend is likely to continue over the next ten years.

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

C. The Female Advantage

1. Some people think women might actually be better managers, partly because of a
more collaborative, less hierarchical, relationship-oriented approach that is in tune
with today’s global and multicultural environment. As attitudes and values change
with changing generations, the qualities women seem to possess may lead to a
gradual role reversal in organizations.

2. Women of all races and ethnic groups are outpacing men in earning bachelor’s and
master’s degrees. Over all, women’s participation in both the labor force and civic
affairs has steadily increased since the mid-1950s, while men’s participation has
slowly but steadily declined.

Discussion Question# 1: Have you ever experienced or witnessed the queen bee syndrome?
What specific strategies might top executives use to avoid the queen bee syndrome among female
managers? Do you think that men might employ some of the same tactics as “queen bees” and
are simply not scrutinized as women are?

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

V. DIVERSITY INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMS Exhibit 13.7

A. Enhancing Structures and Policies


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252  Chapter 13

1. Many leading companies are changing structures and policies to facilitate and support
a diverse workforce. Most large organizations have formal policies against racism
and gender discrimination, as well as structured grievance procedures and complaint
review processes.

2. Companies are also developing policies to support the recruitment and career
advancement of diverse employees.

B. Expanding Recruitment Efforts

1. A new approach to recruitment means making better use of recruiting strategies,


offering internship programs to give people opportunities, and developing creative
ways to draw on previously unused labor markets.

C. Establishing Mentor Relationships

1. One of the most successful structures for eliminating the glass ceiling is the
mentoring relationship. A mentor is a higher-ranking organizational member who is
committed to providing upward mobility and support to a protégé’s professional
career.

2. Mentoring provides minorities and women with direct training and inside information
on the norms and expectations of the organization.

D. Increasing Awareness of Sexual Harassment

1. Sexual harassment creates an unhealthy and unproductive work environment and is


illegal. As a form of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace is a
violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Sexual harassment in the classroom is a
violation of the Education Amendment of 1972.

2. The following categories describe various forms of sexual harassment.

a. Generalized. This form involves sexual remarks and actions not intended to lead
to sexual activity.

b. Inappropriate/offensive. Though not sexually threatening, it causes discomfort in


a coworker and limits the offended person’s freedom and ability to function at
work.

c. Solicitation with promise of reward. This action treads a fine line as an attempt to
“purchase” sex, with the potential for criminal prosecution.

d. Coercion with threat of punishment. The harasser coerces a coworker into sexual
activity by using the threat of power to jeopardize the victim’s career.
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Managing Diversity  253

e. Sexual crimes and misdemeanors. These acts, if reported, would be considered


felony crimes and misdemeanors.

E. Encouraging Employee Affinity Groups

1. Employee affinity groups are based on social identity, such as gender or race, and
are organized by employees to focus on concerns of employees from that group. The
idea behind network groups is that minority employees can join together for mutual
support and to extend member influence in the organization. Affinity groups pursue a
variety of activities, such as meetings to educate top managers, mentoring programs,
networking events, training sessions and skills seminars, minority intern programs,
and community volunteer activities.

2. Employees, not the organization, form network groups, and membership is voluntary;
however, successful organizations support and encourage affinity groups. Although
affinity groups seem to be in direct opposition to the trend toward multicultural
teams, the two mechanisms actually work quite well together. In general, female and
minority employees who participate in an affinity group feel more pride about their
work and are more optimistic about their careers than those who do not have the
support of a group.

Discussion Question #5: How might employee affinity groups contribute to the advancement of
women and minorities to higher-level positions in an organization?

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Answers to End-of-Chapter Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever experienced or witnessed the queen bee syndrome? What specific strategies
might top executives use to avoid the queen bee syndrome among female managers? Do you
think that men might employ some of the same tactics as “queen bees” and are simply not
scrutinized as women are?

Students can share their experiences with the queen bee syndrome, which refers to a female
boss who not only has no interest in fostering the careers of other women but might even
actively undermine them. A 2011 survey showed that 95 percent of women felt they had been
undermined by another woman. Another study reported that female bullies direct their
hostilities toward other women 80 percent of the time. However, queen bees may be
creatures of circumstances and ingrained corporate cultures. Women are expected to be softer
and gentler, yet their hard, more assertive qualities get them rewarded and promoted (and

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254  Chapter 13

perhaps labeled as queen bees for their lack of sympathy). Men also employ some of the
same tactics to avoid promoting other men within the organization.

To avoid the queen bee syndrome, companies change their structures and policies to facilitate
and support diversity. Most large organizations have formal policies against gender
discrimination, as well as structured grievance procedures and complaint review processes.
Companies are also developing policies to support the recruitment and career advancement of
diverse employees. Many have added a new senior management position called chief
diversity officer, whose role is to create working environments where women can flourish.

2. Evaluate your own experiences so far with people from other backgrounds. How well do you
think those experiences prepared you to understand the unique needs and dilemmas of a
diverse workforce?

In addressing the question, students should clearly demonstrate their understanding of the
unique needs and dilemmas of a diverse workforce. Answers should include both the needs
and dilemmas of a diverse workforce for which their experience did prepare them and the
needs and dilemmas for which it did not.

3. Until Sheryl Sandberg was promoted to chief operating officer of Facebook in 2012, its
board was composed of only men. Yet a majority of Facebook’s 845 million users are
women. Given this demographic, explain how Facebook might benefit from increasing the
presence of women on its corporate board.

Some people think women might actually be better managers, partly because of a more
collaborative, less hierarchical, relationship-oriented approach that is in tune with today's
global and multicultural environment. According to James Gabarino, an author and professor
of human development at Cornell University, women are "better able to deliver in terms of
what modern society requires of people — paying attention, abiding by rules, being verbally
competent, and dealing with interpersonal relationships in offices. His observation is
supported by the fact that female managers are typically rated higher by subordinates on
interpersonal skills, as well as on factors such as task behavior, communication, ability to
motivate others, and goal accomplishment. Recent research found a correlation between
balanced gender composition in companies and higher organizational performance.
Moreover, a study by Catalyst indicates that organizations with the highest percentage of
women in top management financially outperform, by about 35 percent, those with the
lowest percentage of women in higher-level jobs.

4. Describe employees who are most vulnerable to stereotype threat. Why is it important for
managers to understand that some employees may experience stereotype threat?

Stereotype threat describes the psychological experience of a person who, usually engaged in
a task, is aware of a stereotype about his or her identity group suggesting that he or she will
not perform well on that task. People most affected by stereotype threat are those we
consider as disadvantaged in the workplace due to negative stereotypes–racial and ethnic
minorities, members of lower socioeconomic classes, women, older people, gay and bisexual
© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part . ,
except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website for classroom use.
Managing Diversity  255

men, and people with disabilities. Employees who experience stereotype threat may feel
more anxiety about their performance at work due to the anticipation of extra scrutiny and
worry that their failure will reflect not only on themselves as individuals but on the larger
group to which they belong.

5. How might employee affinity groups contribute to the advancement of women and minorities
to higher-level positions in an organization?

Employee affinity groups will help women and minorities grow and develop into higher-level
positions through educational awareness programs. These affinity groups will permit women
and minorities to interact and learn about other organizations that have shared experiences
and promote growth within their organizations. These employee affinity programs are
designed to encourage commitment, motivation, and acceleration of women and minorities in
today’s work environment. The idea behind affinity groups is that minority employees can
join together across traditional organizational boundaries for mutual support and to extend
member influence in the organization. Affinity groups pursue a variety of activities, such as
meetings to educate top managers, mentoring programs, networking events, training sessions
and skills seminars, minority intern programs, and community volunteer activities. Affinity
groups give people a chance to meet, interact with, and develop social and professional ties
to others throughout the organization, which may include key decision makers. Affinity
groups are a powerful way to reduce social isolation for women and minorities, help these
employees be more effective, and enable members to achieve greater career advancement.

Employees, not the organization, form affinity groups, and membership is voluntary.
However, successful organizations support and encourage affinity groups by making clear
that such groups are welcome, helping members who want to form groups contact other
organizations for assistance, and perhaps providing financial assistance for other programs.
Although at first glance the proliferation of employee affinity groups seems to be in direct
opposition to the trend toward multicultural teams, the two mechanisms actually work quite
well together. There has been a rapid growth of employee affinity groups for minorities who
have faced barriers to advancement in organizations, including African-Americans,
Hispanics, American Indians, Asian Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and disabled
employees. Affinity groups offer significant potential for supporting a workplace that values
diversity. In general, female and minority employees who participate in an affinity group
feel more pride about their work and are more optimistic about their careers than those who
do not have the support of a network.

6. If talkative men are viewed as powerful and competent, why do you think talkative women
are seen as less capable and pushy? Do you think this perception would be different in an
organization with a large percentage of female managers at top levels?

This is an example of a stereotype about women; talkative, pushy, and less capable.
Stereotypes are often based on folklore, media portrayals, and other unreliable
sources of information. For example, studies have shown that the traditional
stereotype of a “good” manager is masculine, adopting characteristics such as
assertiveness. Stereotypes contain negative connotations. Stereotypes assume
that all members of a group have the same characteristics. The perception might
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256  Chapter 13

be different if there were a large percentage of female managers at top levels, although
women are also subject to stereotypical thinking about other women.

7. What are the glass ceiling and bamboo ceiling, and why do you think they have proven to be
such barriers to women and minorities?

The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from advancing
to top management positions. In particular, Asian managers bump up against the bamboo
ceiling, a combination of cultural and organizational barriers that impede Asians’ career
progress. As corporations grew, a monoculture developed within the top levels of
management whereby white male managers hired and promoted employees who mirrored
their own looks, actions, thoughts, beliefs, and backgrounds, and with whom they felt
comfortable. The experiences of women and minorities were considered different,
incompatible, and in the eyes of some, inferior. There developed a concern or a firm belief
within these monocultures that these groups would not “fit in” with the dominant culture. As
a result, women and minorities moved to a certain level within the company, but further
progress was blocked. The women’s movement, the Civil Rights movement, and actions by
the courts are slowly forcing cracks in the glass ceiling. Many companies are taking the lead
in opening new opportunities for women and minorities; however, some companies have
alternative barriers in place, simply replacing the glass ceiling with “glass walls,” which bar
important lateral movement necessary for top management preparation.

8. Why do you think a large number of women are opting out of the corporate world? Discuss
whether this trend is likely to continue over the next ten years.

Women are opting out of the corporate world because they see that they must sacrifice their
personal lives with their families, their health, and face a high stress level. They want time
with their children. Women are generally less interested in attaining power and status than
men and find climbing the corporate ladder less appealing. Some women still want to work
but prefer jobs that are less fast-paced and competitive. Another view is that because women
are not getting promoted into top management positions, they simply quit. It is likely that
this trend will continue over the next 10 years, although it may slow down as more single
women from a generation that is waiting longer to marry begin to rise to higher-level
positions.

9. Describe how a diversity of perspective boosts creativity and innovation in the workplace.
Why do managers consider a diversity of perspective a competitive advantage?

Diversity of perspective is achieved when a manager creates a heterogeneous team made up


of individuals with diverse background and skill sets. By tapping into the strengths of
diversity, teams are more likely to experience higher efficiency, better quality, less
duplication of effort among team members, and increased innovation and creativity.

10. How might organizations strike a balance between respecting and meeting the needs of a
diverse workforce and shaping a high-performance corporate culture where shared values
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Managing Diversity  257

contribute to the accomplishment of strategic goals?

An organization could foster the creation of employee affinity groups These groups are
based on social identity, such as gender or race, and are organized to focus on
concerns of employees from that group. Affinity groups pursue a variety of
activities, such as meetings to educate top managers, mentoring programs,
networking events, training sessions and skills seminars, minority intern
programs, and community volunteer activities. These activities give people a
chance to meet, interact with, and develop social and professional ties to others
throughout the organization, which may include key decision makers. Affinity
groups are a powerful way to reduce social isolation for women and minorities,
help these employees be more effective, and
enable members to achieve greater career advancement.

Apply Your Skills: Experiential Exercise

How Tolerant Are You?

This exercise helps students understand how tolerant they are of people who are different from
themselves.

Apply Your Skills: Small Group Breakout

Personal Diversity

Students begin by listing six ways in which they feel different from others, then answer four
questions about their perceived diversities. Finally, students discuss their perceived differences
in small groups.

Apply Your Skills: Ethical Dilemma

Sunset Prayers

1. Continue the current policy that leaves it up to the Muslim workers as to when they leave the
assembly line to perform their sunset rituals.

This is not a good course of action. With an increasingly higher percentage of assembly-line
workers leaving the line to perform sunset rituals, production will likely be negatively
impacted.

2. Try to hire the fewest possible Muslim workers so the work line will be efficient on second
shift.

This is also not a good course of action. First, it would probably qualify as discrimination
based on religion. Second, the Muslim Somali temporary workers are saving Frank a
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258  Chapter 13

substantial amount of money in wages and benefits, which may be largely what keeps him in
a competitive position.

3. Ask the Muslim workers to delay their sunset prayers until a regularly scheduled break
occurs, pointing out that North Woods is primarily a place of business, not a house of
worship.

This may be the best of the three alternatives. Having a large number of workers leaving the
assembly line at the same time could be considered an unreasonable accommodation. Frank
might be able to convince them to have a smaller number go at sunset each day while the
others wait for a scheduled break, and rotate who goes at sunset and who waits so that
everyone gets to go at sunset at least once or twice a week. Frank may also be able to adjust
the scheduled break so that it is closer to the actual sunset time, thus accommodating the
request as closely as possible.

Apply Your Skills: Case for Critical Analysis

True To Myself

1. If you were Ethney, how would you try to conduct yourself at the oil company? Would you act
differently from your normal personality? Do you think your approach would be successful?
Why?

It is important to be "true to yourself" in order to bring new ideas and fresh perspective to the
company. Fitting in or simply emulating male counterparts will only take you so far. The very
cause of having a woman on board is lost when the woman tries to “think” and “act” like
men. Women are known to take a more collaborative, less hierarchical and a more
relationship-oriented approach to managing. This is in tune with today’s global and
multicultural environment. According to James Gabarino, an author and professor of human
development at Cornell University, women are "better able to deliver in terms of what
modern society requires of people.” Therefore, instead of trying to seek the men’s approval
by altering your true personality, it is important to be who you are and do what you do best.

2. What other strategies might Ethney adopt to work with the oil company men as an active
member of the team? What are the pros and cons of each strategy?

It is important that Ethney establishes a working relationship with her male counterparts by
bringing into play all her managerial skills and feminine instincts. She needs to be firm and
assertive when necessary and yet not seem too aggressive or dominating.
Ethney needs to solicit views and advice from other employees by carefully and attentively
listening to what they have to say. The final call, however, should be taken by her after
rationally evaluating the situation.
Ethney should work toward building trust and respect. She should not shy away from
highlighting her achievements as it is important that she be admired and respected by her co-
workers in order to be taken seriously.
Finally, it is evident that the existing composition of the oil company’s workforce is made
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Managing Diversity  259

predominantly of male employees. Ethney can work toward changing this by re-evaluating
and upgrading the company’s diversity and inclusion programs. She can do this by garnering
the support of the top management and “the girls.” Ethney should ensure that, in doing so,
she does not end up alienating herself from the other employees. She needs to use her
managerial skills to maintain a harmonious relationship with her male counterparts.

3. What does it mean to be "true to yourself"? Is being true to yourself more important than
achieving personal career success in a male-dominated company? Is it okay to enable the
continuation of an "unhealthy" work environment for women? Why do you think the way you
do about this?

Being true to oneself does not translate to being stubborn or fixed to one’s point of view.
Being “true to yourself” simply means being who you are without being afraid of voicing
your opinions. People can achieve personal career success while also being true to
themselves. It only needs a certain level of rational thinking and people skills. Women should
not have to work in any environment that is deemed “unhealthy”. It is critical that
organizations offer a safe environment for women to work in. Women who do not feel safe
are more likely to be unproductive. Hence, by enforcing strict safety rules, companies will
not only be avoiding lawsuits, but will also be more productive.

On the Job Video Case Answers

JetBlue: Managing Diversity

1. How does JetBlue’s commitment to diversity influence the way it treats its employees? How
does it influence the way it treats its customers?

JetBlue’s commitment to diversity has led to the creation of affinity groups such as JetPride
and VetConnect, groups that focus upon the interests and needs of gay employees and
veterans. Awareness of differences and subtle biases has made JetBlue’s employees more
tolerant of other employees and customers. Commitment to social responsibility has led
JetBlue to focus upon the needs of autistic children, who are invited to come to the airport
with their parents and board an aircraft. This allows crew members to understand and
therefore be more tolerant of children and adults with autism.

2. JetPride and VetConnect are two of JetBlue’s diversity initiatives. What are some of the
benefits JetBlue and its employees have gained from these initiatives?

JetPride has given GLBT employees the freedom to talk openly about such issues as
displaying same-sex photos on their desks, marriage equality, and same-sex relationship
issues. There is no longer the feeling among gay employees that they have to“butch up” their
conversations at work. This is a tremendous sense of relief that JetBlue has given its
employees and a major contributor to job satisfaction.

Likewise, VetConnect allows veterans to share their experiences and transition from military
to civilian life. Through a mentoring program, veterans are paired with other JetBlue veterans
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260  Chapter 13

to work through issues on the job or simply to share military experiences. This is an
important benefit for veterans who often feel misunderstood when returning to civilian life.

3. These employees’ comments provide a rich picture of the true meaning of prejudice,
stereotyping, and diversity. After hearing their comments, how has your understanding of
these terms changed? Include at least two examples from the video in your answer.

Answers will vary. My understanding of stereotyping has changed because it is clear that gay
employees feel very guarded at work about what they can say and what is not considered
politically correct. For example, Eddie said that his idea of being stranded on a dessert island
would include the presence of another man, not a beautiful woman. In some work contexts,
this comment would be frowned upon. Another example from the video is the comment that
people are naturally biased in favor of others who share the same characteristics (race,
nationality, age). She pointed out that awakening awareness of biases goes a long way
towards inclusion.

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part . ,
except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website for classroom use.