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Diversity and Inclusion

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Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion
Adriana Sardinas
SOC/315
January 17, 2011
Professor Joyce Mackey

Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion
In this content, the author will be using her critical thinking skills to answer questions based on the readings from Understanding and Managing Diversity and Racial and Ethnic Groups. The questions to be answered and discussed are: What are the dimensions of cultural diversity; with what ethnic, cultural, or other groups does the author identify herself; what is the difference between diversity and inclusion; what is the importance of workplace diversity training; and what is the author’s experience with workplace culture.
Critical Thinking Questions
Cultural diversity, inclusion, groups, diversity in the workplace, and identifying oneself with one or the other is controversial and can become aggressive if society remains close-minded. The author is putting into discussion questions that will help break down the understanding of what it truly is and the importance of it in society.
Question One
What are the dimensions of cultural diversity? Identification and a brief explanation of dimensions provided.
Answer. The dimensions of cultural diversity range from racial groups, a group socially set apart by obvious physical difference; ethnic groups, groups set apart by culture patterns or nationality; religious groups, gender groups and other subordinate groups. Ageism is also considered a dimension. Minorities generally share the same characteristics such as inequality, solidarity, and marriage within the group.
The comparisons and contrasts among the groups must be dealt with on an individual basis. The focus is on the importance as a whole, rather than approach the situation gradually. There may be various components, as it is possible to belong to several minority groups. Acquiring a connection is just one dimension of diversity. The groups structure, motivation, skills and training, and different ways of showing ones persona are considered when establishing a diverse society (i.e. college campus). Measurements of differences can be done through certain social networks, i.e. Facebook.
Facebook is a social network in which people can interact and learn about each other through online profiles. For example, colleges and universities cited Facebook as the major source of prospective students (or their parents) requesting roommate changes even before arriving on campus, because of the intended roommates race, religion, or sexual orientation (Schaefer, 2011). With the United States being a very diverse nation and increasing minority rates (mixed ethnicities included, excluding white ethnicities) shows the composition of population changing; however, the problems of prejudice, discrimination, and mistrust remain (Schaefer, 2011).
Question Two What ethnic, cultural, or other groups do you identify? Describe what members of your social circle have in common. Answer. The author’s ethnicity is of Hispanic origin. Nationalities of the author are Cuban and Mexican and born and raised in the United States of America. She is of Christian faith and she is a female, therefore, making her part of the gender group of women. She is considered a minority in three different groups. The members in the author’s social group range from African American, Hispanics, white, and homosexuals. The author’s fiancé is also African American. The things that the author’s social group has in common are their beliefs, cultural backgrounds, and unity as a whole. They stand with each other through hard times and good times and share stories of experiences. There is no one person better than another is and we do not judge each other either. Their ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, or social standings do not interfere with their unity.
Question Three
What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?
Answer. Diversity, variety of human societies or cultures, may be present among corporations but does not necessarily mean there is inclusion (the act or state of being included). Being diverse could possibly mean, to a corporation, meeting status quo by hiring a percentage of minorities to fill in lower level jobs. In the mean time if that minority employee was unsatisfied with the position, they would simply leave and the corporation would hire another to meet the percentage.
In addition, if there is no place for advancement for the minority, they just simply leave and search for another job. Corporations did not attempt to keep these employees, there was no value or promotion allowed for them. While the corporation had them employed, they were not actually included in the corporation’s culture. For example, there is to be a meeting for the corporation, however, it is being held at a strip club during lunch hours. As being a female minority in this corporation, the management did not take into consideration the feelings and value of their female employees.
Question Four What is the importance of workplace diversity training? Answer. Diversity training is extremely helpful and allows all employees and management to grasp the meaning, understanding, and consideration towards everyone within the corporation. As stated in the example before, it would not be very considerate to hold a meeting at a strip club if there are several female employees. Another example would be it would not be very compassionate to have a corporation outing at a theme park that will not allow a disabled employee to participate. Likewise, it allows men to come to the understanding that it is not acceptable to sexually harass a woman in the workplace, the same goes for female employees towards male employees. With this knowledge, it has made it more accessible for men and women to be employed in coed workplaces. Another example, the disabled have come to the acceptance of their own disability and a fully capable person may see it as helping the disabled in the workplace as being helpful. However, the disabled employee finds it very offending to be helped and would rather not be helped. With the workplace diversity training, it allows employees to become aware of the right and wrong things to do.
Question Five What is your experience with workplace culture? Could there be, or could there have been, more inclusion? Answer. In some instances, there could have been more inclusion, yet it was still separated. The author was employed for a short period of time at a doctor’s office as a medical records clerk. However, her pregnancy limited her capabilities of performing certain tasks. She was given instruction as to what she needed to have completed, but, after two months of doing the paperwork the way instructed, her manager came to her and told her she was doing it wrong. Also during that time, she was to rearrange all the medical records of the clinic. There was an extern that was to help with the lifting but she was left to do all the lifting on her own. Long story short, the author was singled out and set up to fail due to her temporary disability. If there would have been more inclusion, more communication, and team work, there would have been no reason for the author to have left her position.
References
Harvey, C. P., & Allard, M. J. (2009). Understanding and managing diversity (4th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Racial and ethnic groups (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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