In the modern world, employees face different problems in their working places. Below will be described diversification in the workplace based on employees’ disabilities, age, and their gender.
People with diverse physical and mental disabilities represent a considerable part of a workforce. As a rule, they are well-qualified. However, employers have a discriminatory attitude to people with disabilities, especially to workers with cancer, diabetes, depression, orthopedic impairments, and hearing impairment. Such workers often require additional facilities for their working process; that is why they are more likely to be stereotyped and work on low-qualified jobs with lower salaries. However, these people may have the same or even wider knowledge and experience compared with workers without any disabilities.
Employers face such difficulties as modifying the working schedule and providing additional facilities for performing working tasks, and establishing understanding and supportive relationships with these people.
Scientists have found that different disabilities cause various stereotypes. In case a leader does not have disabilities, then a subordinate with disability is more likely to feel and experience poorer informational and ethical exchange than other subordinates without disabilities. As a rule, workers and head managers have lower expectations of people with disabilities.
According to researches, about 42% of top 100 companies from the 2003 Fortune 500 have employees with disabilities (Lynn, 2009). The atmosphere of integration, attracting various workforce, and tolerance are very important.
Disability Discrimination Act
A special act titled the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was adopted to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. The act covers requirements for application forms, job descriptions, personnel specifications, the application process, recruitment advertising, shortlisting and interviewing arrangements, the application process, selection testing arrangements, and so on. This act makes the employer responsible for employment arrangements and the workplace for disabled people and adjustments during any stage of employment (Employment Rights and the Disability Discrimination Act).
Employers have no right to require from an applicant for a working position to make medical examination before offering them the job. Also, the employer has no right to check whether the applicant has disability. As a rule, it is up to an employee to make the decision of whether to disclose their disability to the employer. This is definitely one’s individual choice when disabilities are invisible. However, such disabilities can keep the employee from performing some of their working tasks, for example, when the employee has some chronic illness such as mental illness or arthritis (McKay, n. d.).
Additionally, unions supervise employment of people with disabilities. They take an active role in accommodation as partners, share joint responsibility with the employer to promote accommodation, and support accommodation measures regardless of the collective agreement (Disability – Workplace Roles and Responsibilities (Fact Sheet)).
Workers with disabilities can perform the same tasks and work in the same manner as those without any disabilities. However, in this case, the employer may face some difficulties, for example, providing additional working facilities and changing the working schedule. Also, a friendly and understanding working environment is very important.
In the main article, the description of the working process for people with disabilities is presented. The author states the problems of discrimination and barriers which people with disabilities usually encounter. In the additional article, the author describes reasons for such discriminatory behavior, presents different scientific researches, opinions of scientists concerning this matter, and describes ways to eliminate discrimination.
In the modern world, people of different ages can work in the same company. The largest group of workers is presented by individuals aged 40 to 44. There is a tendency towards aging workforce. In the USA, by 2015 about 20% of workers will be older than 55 years.
According to scientific researches, aging is associated with a lot of positive factors, such as a huge amount of diverse working experience, a higher level of citizenship behavior, lower work injuries, lower willingness to change one’s working place, higher compliance with safety rules, and lower counterproductive behaviors.
The current older generation is more active and fit than before; it lives a healthier and longer life and continues to work well up to the standard retirement age. Different economic changes and instability make a significant contribution to this situation (Secor, n. d.).
However, employers have a lot of stereotypes concerning the age of employees. As a rule, workers who are from 17 to 29 years old are considered to have higher potential and their performance of work is on a higher level.
According to some recent scientific research, age diversification in companies has a lot of negative prospects and consequences. As a rule, older workers suffer from unfair treatment, especially when it comes to performance ratings, salary, and hiring decisions. Generally, the situation is more serious when workers are older than most of other employees in the company or management. The working process of older people is deemed to be less productive, creative, and flexible; as a result, they feel less comfortable with modern technology and they are harder to train. Scientists state that older employees tend to be offered fewer opportunities.
Different age groups usually have different opinions regarding the working process and the company’s mission. They have different learning styles and work in a different manner. For example, older workers prefer PowerPoint presentations, while younger workers tend to opt for interactive learning.
Managers should provide a peaceful environment in a mixed-age team, because any misunderstandings and conflicts will harm the working process (Diversity in the Workplace). It is important to consider that age diversity provides a lot of benefits to the company. It leads to higher team performance, because workers try various options and scenarios. Older employers are more skillful and usually have more knowledge and experience. At the same time, young workers bring the use of high-tech business media like online product demonstration, social networking, and webcasting. Mature professionals tend to have exceptional interpersonal skills and are good at interpersonal communication. They usually have the advantage of traditional business skills and can communicate with customers across all age spectrums (The Advantages of Diverse Ages in the Workplace).
It is very hard to deal with all the complexities caused by age diversification. However, such diversification provides more advantages than disadvantages. In a mixed-age workforce, workers of different ages receive the opportunity to teach, share, and learn.
In the given article, the general description of age diversification is presented. The author gives some statistical information and states his own opinion. In a new scholarly article, scientific researchers are provided with grounded substantiation of negative prejudice towards age diversification in the working process and positive sides of the mixed-age working environment.
Gender diversification takes place almost in every company. It is connected with some distinctions between physical characteristics that identify one as male or female and one’s individual sense of being either a man or a woman or even both (What Is the Definition of Gender Diversity?).
Gender discrimination is prohibited by the US legislation, particularly by the Equal Pay Act (1963) and by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964). Despite this, women and men often face discrimination in their working places.
Women’s average earnings for full time work are 21% lower than men’s earnings for the same working time and for the same tasks. Some people explain this by stating that women do not usually choose highly paid occupations, like business and engineering, and they are more likely to take time off to have children.
Also, men and women have different preferences in work attributes. Women typically search for good working hours, friendly communication inside the team, and opportunities to receive help and make friends, while men tend to seek promotion opportunities, such as leadership, challenge, and freedom. They are more likely to initiate negotiations and receive more outcomes and, as a result, to occupy higher management positions.
Scientists state that women are 12 times more likely to suffer from gender-based discrimination. This is mostly the effect of different stereotypes. However, according to different researches, efficiency and effectiveness of group performance is higher and stronger in mixed-gender groups.
According to different studies, women occupying executive positions are very beneficial for companies and they bring additional commercial value (Lynn, 2009). Female workers are more accurate and thorough and they have a different vision on the company’s values, missions, and actions. Diverse visions help the company to obtain better working results and to develop a unique strategy. Finally, female workers are increasingly more highly educated than men (About Workplace Gender Equality).
Discriminatory actions against female workers are still widely spread today. Most of them are based on prejudice. However, women have a lot of positive characteristics as workers compared with men. They are more accurate and perform their work more carefully. Also, they have their own vision of the working process. Companies which have both female and male employees have bigger benefits and reach higher results because of the diverse visions and different working approaches.
The author of the given article describes discrimination processes and provides particular figures concerning this matter. The author of the scholarly article supports the main vision and provides evidence of the positive effect of mixed-gender teams.