Pros and cons of diversity in an organization is a topic of intense debate in HR field in modern times.
For better understanding of this blog , the author suggests that the readers should go through the following blog , which ,Ripples has published earlier.
1. Different opinions on diversity in an organization
Hardly a day passes, when something new, either in favor or against diversity does not come in, as an article.
Though, it will not be very prudent to say that people are saying entirely in favor or against it. Yet, authors are expressing the increasing need for exercising caution in adopting diversity in organizations.
Also,experts are widely discussing the mechanism of adopting diversity . One school of thought advocates diversity on the basis of ethnicity. On the other hand , the other school of thought pleads that expertise and skill set should be the main criteria for it.
2. Literature review on diversity in an organization
Wikipedia claims that with equitable gender distribution at workplace, we may get the following benefits .
– Multiple benefits to organizations like overall increase in performance, increase in number of customers.
– Increase in revenue and profit.
– Better reputation of the company.
– We attract greater talent pool on account of adopting gender diversity
Gallup (www.gallup.com) is of the opinion that men and women have different view points ,ideas and market insights and problem solving skills.
Thus, having a gender diversity in work force, helps in the following.
– Easier excess to resources.
– Multiple sources of information.
– Wider industry knowledge.
There are conflicting research findings, with respect to gender diversity in organizations. as per hbr.org .
The reference futureofworking.com also supports the above .
They also say that disadvantages of gender diversity are as given below.
– Too many opinions may lead to difficulty in decision making.
– Offshoring may appear to be more important than the quality of work.
The reference business.linkedin.com , has published a latest article entitled as “ Launching a diversity and inclusion program is not enough—Here is how to make a meaningful impact” .
In this, they studied 16500 employees from different companies around the world through Boston Consulting Group (BCG) .
Some of the findings were.
– 50% of the employees felt bias of one kind or the other.
– Only 25% of employees said ,they benefited from it.
BCG suggested different ways to remove these biases.
The author is of the opinion that we may tackle the problems associated with diversity, through inclusivenes.
The reference “ grasum.com “ has published an article “Top six benefits of diversity in the workplace : Every CEO should know “.These six benefits are:
- A diverse team is always much more productive and innovative.
- It also brings in different perspectives.
- Such work place quickly troubleshoots any problem.
- It brings improved profits and revenue.
- Diversity at work place, always attracts the best talent.
- The extent of employee engagement is better.
- It increases the global image of the organization.
The other authors also substantiated many of these points . We have mentioned them in the beginning of this blog.
The reference “www.entrepreneur.com/article/346229” lists 4 ways , by which the diversity improves productivity.
– Attracts more talent.
– Varied experience leads to more innovation.
– Diverse thoughts increase the level of customer satisfaction.
– Diverse team resonates well with customers and investors.
2. Board room diversity in an organization
The male to female ratio in the board room has always been a topic of intensive debate with respect to diversity.
The reference “simplify.com board room “clearly tells that in order to make board room diversity fully beneficial, we should try to ensure the following aspects.
– Make efforts to adopt exceptional search and recruitment process across the globe.
– The organization must be highly efficient and excellently managed , before board room diversity is considered even.
We should also bear in mind that we can ensure board room diversity ,only by proper blend of age, background, gender, competency levels, skill sets ,experience and ethnicity.
The reference “www.bartleyby.com “ clearly tells that occupational diversity, difference in skill sets , personality traits , values and abilities are the four aspects , which must be looked into for fostering diversity in any organization. Board room diversity is no exception to this.
The reference “ boardmember.com “ provides six tips for improved board room diversity.
Thus, lot of literature is available on board room diversity and it is logistically not possible to include each and every thing in one blog, here.
However, a holistic approach is required to be taken for matters pertaining to board room diversity. We must bear it in mind that, when only gender diversity is considered , ignoring all other relevant aspects as discussed above ,the effort may fail with really worst consequences. Such type of situation should always be avoided.
3. Pros and cons of having diversity in an organisation
If we scan the literature, we find quite divergent views on having diversity in an organization.
The reference “ greengarage.org “ lists 11 pros and cons of diversity in an organization. As per them, the pros include the following.
- Working with individuals having various skillsets.
- Good opportunity for mentoring.
- Exposure to diverse perspectives and opinions.
- Availability of wider talent pool and
- Easier internal cross training.
The important cons , as per them , include the following.
- Difficulty in communication.
- Personal biases .
- Too many differing perspectives and opinions .
- Tedious and inappropriate recruitment and selection process .
Similarly , the reference “ connectusfund.org “ enumerates the advantages and disadvantages of diversity in the workplace.
On the other hand the reference “ medium.com “ describes in quite detail ,the pros and cons of cultural diversity in the work place.
The other references , which talk vividly about the topic are:
In fact everyday , one article or the other is being published in this field.
We may arrive at the following conclusions, on the basis of discussions as above.
– Diversity is the buzz word in modern day world. The organizations across the globe are trying to implement the idea, with their own trials and tribulations.
– Measures adopted for diversity in organizations are gaining ground.
– The author has a distinct opinion that adequate care must be taken ,first, to fine tune the organization with respect to established procedures and systems.
– A judicious recruitment and talent search system , along with total transparency and absence of bias must prevail in the organization , before diversity is embedded to it.
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Graduate, Post Graduate and Doctorate from IIT, BHU Dr. D. Rai has more than 46 years of research & academic experience. His career spans across the industry and academia from playing the role of Head of Department at Research & Development Center for Iron and Steel to being the Director for reputed management colleges. He has published 65 research papers and filed 5 patents and 7 copyrights. He plays the role of an Advisor and Chief Mentor at Ripples Learning.