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Workforce Diversity

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Workforce Diversity Workforce diversity is something that has become normal in most societies, regardless of peoples individual beliefs. With an increase in globalization, people are having no other choice then to accept different races, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. No more is our country made up of only Caucasians and African Americans. Diversity is all around us and tolerance is what needs to be learnt by individuals, groups, and companies. The problem is that we all know that workforce diversity is something we can’t avoid, but many of us still try to. When someone doesn’t speak our dialect or eats different food in the lunchroom it can create uncertainty among people who are uncomfortable with “new.” It is people’s natural reactions and human instincts that make accepting new people who are different scary and unnerving. McDonalds, Dell and Boeing are three companies that have managed multicultural organizations well and continue to show other companies what a benefit it can be.
Workforce diversity is a term that arose in the 1970’s and hasn’t stopped rearing its head to society. McDonalds was one of the first companies in the seventies that had a department devoted to affirmative action. Pat Harris is currently McDonald’s chief diversity officer overseeing an evolving diversity initiative. She existed with the company during the early stages of workforce diversity. Harris claims that she doesn’t use the word program to describe the company’s objective regarding diversity because it has a beginning and an end. Diversity is an ever-changing issue for the company and being flexible and open to new possibilities is important. Pat claimed that education would drive business and ensure that everyone understood variety in people. Educational programs she insinuates, are what helps employees and executives to comprehend the differences that exists in the workplace. McDonald’s also has employee networks for gays and lesbians and single mothers. Harris claims that differences need to be celebrated and not ignored. She also explains that they want their employees to come to work and be themselves, and not feel like they have to leave that piece of them that makes them different outside of work. “Whether it’s our employees or our customers walking through the doors, we want everyone to feel respected and valued,” says Harris (Hauser.)
McDonalds prides themselves on their multicultural customer base, their commitment to talent management and their learning labs. The company emphasizes how diversity is what will lead them to a more sustainable future. They can find talent from all over the world and use it to relate to the consumer. The company is committed to a range of different people when hiring and leadership development, which includes the supply chain, informing consumers about nutrition, community involvement, corporate responsibility, and external branding (Singh.) McDonalds also employs 73% of their staff with women and minorities and 90% of people in higher positions have been promoted from within (Singh.) Pat Harris says their focuses are implementing coaching and counseling services, mentoring programs, career development initiatives as well as external branding exercises. McDonald’s commitment to workforce diversity is what makes them a true example to other companies following in their footsteps. Dell is another brand that prides themselves on variety in the workplace.
Dell is a company that knows the assortment of their employees is one of their best assets. Their website explains “To truly understand and respond to the broad needs of our global customer base, our workforce must mirror our customers. To do this, we have more people in more places around the world, with almost two-thirds of Dell’s team members working outside the U.S.” (People.) They believe differences of their team members give them a competitive advantage. They understands that people with unique backgrounds helps breed innovation and brings new insight. Their goal is to build a strong workforce that is a reflection of a diverse global market place. Dells focuses are centered on people with disabilities, gays and lesbians, and Hispanic Americans. They have special partnerships with national civic organizations, professional development agencies, and multicultural business and community groups. Dell, along with McDonalds, also has workforce diversity groups. Employee networking groups consist of ethnicity, gender, nationality, lifestyle or sexual orientation. They mentor these groups and are involved in the community so that they can reach a broader spectrum of people. This multicultural environment is what makes Dell unique. When employees bring differences to work they are bringing fresh and creative ideas to Dells business. There are three employees who have blazed trails for the company and its employees (People.)
The three employees recognized on Dells website for their contribution to a varied workplace are Gina Cano, Bobbi Dangerfield, and Victoria Battaglia. Gina Cano has shown that a flexible work schedule helps cut company costs and helps her team to be more productive and effective while she manages them from home. Her territory is Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Phoenix, Arizona, and Roundrock Texas (People.)
Bobbi Dangerfield leads Commercial Sales Operations and is responsible for enabling sales productivity, business growth and customer experience, all while driving operational excellence and flawless execution (People.) Bobbi has been in charge of creating and managing capabilities in Malaysia as an IT and services director. She has also been in charge of El Salvador as General Manager. Her services to both countries and her relationship building excellence has enabled these countries to have better health, environment and education (People.) Bobbi is an intricate part of Dells global success.
Victoria Battaglia is currently senior legal counsel for the Southern Latin American region and contributes her success to being a team player. She is based in Argentina and supports Dell in Argentina and surrounding countries. Victoria has launched WISE, Women In Search of Excellence, which is an employee resource in Southern Latin America. Victoria believes in collaborating with others and delivering what you have committed. She knows that without the help of others that her position and promotion would have not existed. These three women go to show how various types of people and gender make an astonishing impact on a company’s bottom line. They are responsible for groups of people that believe different things and come from places all around the world. Their patience and persistence to motivate their multicultural teams is what has made Dell a working and breathing organization. Dell is committed to a global workforce that is talented and committed and a reflection of their global customers (People.)
Dell was awarded top US Government award for workplace diversity efforts. They were awarded in 2005 for the Secretary of Labor’s Opportunity Award, which recognizes voluntary workplace diversity efforts among federal contractors. "Diversity has long been a core element of Dell's values and corporate culture. From recruitment to valuing and rewarding our existing employees, Dell's commitment to create and maintain a diverse work environment is a cornerstone of our global operations," said Thurmond B. Woodard, Dell's vice president of global diversity (CSR.) “This award represents the highest level of voluntary commitment by a private sector company to equal employment opportunity," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “Dell is a company that fosters as its basic core value a commitment to equal employment opportunity throughout its organization (CSR.) The key initiatives for the company are recruitment and retention, fostering a diverse culture, supplier diversity, digital inclusion, and community involvement. This award and recognition from top government and business leaders makes Dell one of the best companies to work for if you are a minority, a woman, or a gay or lesbian. This broad group of people are the reason that Dell succeeds in the market place and keep their customers loving the brand and regarding them highly. Boeing is another prime example of how differences among people fuel business (CSR.) Boeings website explains their views of diversity similar to the other two companies. They see diversity as an important piece of the puzzle. Boeing defines diversity as: “Diversity and inclusion are part of Boeing's values at the highest level. Having diverse employees, business partners and community relationships is vital to creating advanced aerospace products and services for our diverse customers around the world. The company's commitment to diversity means providing a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful and engaging, with opportunities for personal and professional development. This in turn increases productivity, quality, creativity and innovation. Boeing has a formal, companywide diversity strategy, mission and goals, which guide a variety of internal programs and events. Our business excellence reaches new heights every day ... powered by Boeing people.”(Boeing.) Boeing has been noted to let employees walk in other people’s shoes. They put multiple employees in situations, to their acceptance, through physical disabilities for them to understand how other people live. They explained it as eye opening, isolating and stressful. It was led by Philadelphia Diversity Council, which was recognized and awarded at Boeings 7th Annual Diversity Summit. They were honored for launching innovative and inclusive activities for their employees to understand how others live and how to be tolerant of those differences. It was called “In Someone Else’s Shoes,” where employees volunteered to be physically disabled for the day. Kathleen Brown said the experience made her feel isolated. She is the Supply Chain Manger and was hearing impaired for this exercise. Kathleen said she could not do basic things like answer phones or talk to people in passing conversation. Andrea Allen, Project Manager H-47 Operations, said the day was emotional and stressful because she couldn’t use her legs. She noted that employees should not be chosen based on physical abilities if the job does not require it. Bryan Dunn, V-22 Finance Manager, pretended to lose his hearing and ability to speak and was asked to act normal. He claimed that he could not interpret meaning without hearing the tone of someone’s voice, and his sense of direction was greatly affected without the ability to hear. This exercise of Boeing employees had them initiate a program in 2008 called American Sign Language class. These were sixteen sessions over an eight week period and helped employees to understand people who deal with disabilities. The new information of learning sign language gave them a greater ability to communicate with those who could not speak or hear (Potter.) This implementation of language is what makes this company one of the leaders in work diversity. Boeings programs for the disabled is a perfect example of how other companies can get their teams to understand the restrictions others have due to their disabilities, ethnicities, race, color, religion, or sexuality. Putting employees in other people shoes is such an amazing way to practice tolerance. Boeing recognizes specific employees for their contribution to assorted values and beliefs. Kathy Nguyen arrived in America with Asian values and education and is now chief engineer for Boeings P-8 India program. Brandon Polingyumptewa grew up on an Indian Reservation and is now material management analyst in Mesa, Arizona. The company also recognizes Luz Virgen was inspired by her calculus teacher Jamie Escalante, to be the first one in her family to go to college and is now a manager for the company. Syd Abernathy, an African American served in the U.S. Navy and was the head of their diversity program and is also a manger for Boeing (Potter.) These people prove to companies who are not focused on the subject that respecting others and letting people express who they are actually helps, not hinders an organization. With so many backgrounds and experiences humans possess, the company functions better all around. One employee was noted saying that she is from India and recently lost her father. She wondered what she was doing here, but then realized she was a part of a bigger family and organization. This powerful story touches the hearts of human beings. We are all the same at the end of the day. We look different, eat different foods and pray to different Gods, but we are all united as being humans. Boeing understand the differences that people face inside and outside the company and want their employees to feel welcomed and accepted. Joyce Tucker, Vice President of Global Diversity and Employee Rights, said, “Fostering a work environment where all employees feel respected, included and able to contribute their best is a core Boeing value and an integral part of our Leadership Attributes” (Diversity.) Boeing wants their employees to take risks, learn and contribute their unique perspectives, and use their experience and ideas always. They don’t want them to feel blocked or not heard. Boeing leaders understand that employing a variety of people is the right thing and the smart thing to do. The organization claims that research show that cultural diversity helps businesses solve problems and they historically have higher sales revenues. They also have more customers, larger market shares, and greater relative profits. To remain competitive around the globe Boeing knows embracing the differences is what will make them grow (Diversity.) “Engaged employees contribute innovative solutions to our business challenges and help drive increased growth and productivity (Diversity.)” Their five-step strategy to outlining a companywide approach to diversity and inclusion is to ensure that things are fair, equal and integrated into all processes of the business. This is Boeings core value and is who they are as a company. This leadership message is what brings the entire company together. Inspiring and motivating newsletters keep people focused on the prize, which is individual and company success. When these employees work for the greater good they are able to help themselves, others and the organization. Boeing is a superb example of diversity and inclusion in the workplace (Diversity.) I feel as though these objectives of McDonalds, Dell and Boeing truly reflect what all people want, which is to be accepted. Just because someone’s skin color is different or they are wheelchair bound does not make them worse then you. Human beings have struggles in all sorts of ways and companies that recognize these sufferings and accomplishments are the ones that will thrive in the future. McDonalds employing 73% of their workforce as minorities and women is inspiring. Dell making the overall organization feel accepted, respected and trusted goes to show that companies need great, talented, and creative employees from all around the globe. Boeing is innovative in its approach to show its staff what it’s like to be someone else and understand their limitations. That compassion and empathy are what make a strong organization and group of people. Although, people are afraid of things they do not understand, which include people from all different backgrounds, companies that implement programs that teach employees about other cultures and ethnicities are ones that will thrive. When you know better, you do better and this is true for learning about other cultures and individuals. Workforce diversity will not fit with all companies, but I guarantee those are the ones who will not see growth like the companies that embrace differences.

Work Cited
"CSR Press Release." RSS. CRSwire, LLC., 26 Apr. 2006. Web. 12 June 2013.
"Diversity Is Who We Are." Boeing Frontiers. Boeing, n.d. Web. 11 June 2013.
Hauser, Susan G. "Workforce." Honoring Diversity the McDonald's Way. Media Tech Publishing Inc., 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 June 2013.
"People." Dell. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2013.
Potter, Geoff. "Getting to Know You." Boeing. Boeing Frontiers, Feb. 2009. Web. 11 June 2013.
Singh, Aman. "McDonald's Makes Diversity About the Bottom Line." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 08 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 June 2013.

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