The Importance of Understanding Cultural, Ethnic, and Gender Differences by Managers and Professionals in a Business Setting Essay

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Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. It can encompass race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, background and more. Not only does diversity involve how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others, which in turn can affect their interactions in a work environment that is culturally diverse. Communication, adaptability and change are just some of the issues these companies must deal with. Accepting and appreciating the differences among all people and embracing diversity means the individual strengths and weaknesses of everyone can be understood and factored into the building of workplace teams. As we learned in our lecture this week, recognizing and appreciating cultural differences is only part of the issue. Subordinate groups attitudes that have developed over time may cause them to be wary and defensive. Working towards the goal of bridging the gap between dominant and subordinate groups can help facilitate better communication. By stepping out of their comfort levels managers need to develop knowledge of cultural differences and a sensitivity to diversity issues. By establishing relationships at work with individuals different from yourself, you begin to learn about the talent and knowledge the diverse culture can add to your organization. They also need to address prejudice and prejudgment within themselves. Some examples of misconceptions usually based on cultural values, stereotypes and life experiences are that women are less committed to a successful career than men, older employees cannot learn new technology and younger workers only care about themselves and their social life. By challenging these prejudgments, a manager can become a role model for all employees to embrace cultural diversity in the work place. The lefty for a day challenge was just that, a challenge. Opening a

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