Summary of Diversity in Organizations

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Most Americans agree that discrimination is wrong. The U.S. population is an amazingly varied patchwork of people from every conceivable background and orientation. Nevertheless, widespread discrimination prevents members of racial minorities, as well as people of other classifications, such as women, disabled people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, from realizing their full potentials at work. The recognition and celebration of diversity is essential to a smoothly functioning U.S. society. In this textbook, diversity expert Myrtle P. Bell explains that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Employers who actively seek to create diverse workplaces benefit from doing so. getAbstract recommends this book to human resource managers and others who wish to promote workplace diversity and end discrimination.

About the Author

Myrtle P. Bell teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. An authority on diversity issues, Bell’s research has appeared in numerous academic publications. She is the chair-elect of the Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division of the Academy of Management.



What Is Diversity?

Diversity concerns the “real or perceived differences among people that affect their interactions and relationships.” Diversity takes into account numerous factors, including “race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, work and family status, and weight and appearance.” Since it covers so many characteristics, it involves just about everyone. Certain groups – such as white men – have unfair advantages over other groups in U.S. workplaces and in society in general, which is why diversity is important.

In the U.S., white, able-bodied men generally earn better salaries and enjoy higher status than nonwhites, women and people with disabilities. They progress more easily into more prestigious positions, while people of color remain in the “secondary labor market of low-skilled, low-paid, insecure jobs.” These kinds of jobs offer few benefits or opportunities for advancement.

The Benefits of Diversity

According to management experts Taylor Cox and Stacy Blake, diversity makes organizations more competitive because it has these six valuable benefits:

  1. “Cost” – If you devalue...

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