In upcoming years, organizations have idea about how to manage diversity in the workplace effectively as this will give a different advantage when it comes to hiring and retaining talent in the organization. The term workplace diversity is all about the variety of people working in an organization. In the workplace, diversity encompasses gender, race, ethnic groups, citizenship status, religion, age and sexual orientation and other distinct differences between people (Bibi, 2016). In order to understand the concept of diversity a specific area is selected that is gender diversity. Gender diversity is mainly related to having the equal ratio of men and women in an organization. As in most of organizations it is seen that corporate boardrooms and other areas are mainly dominated by men (Dennissen et al., 2020). The essay aims to understand the manager role in managing workforce that is diverse and how they can constructively address the gender diversity in the workplace. Moreover, the below sections include issues and challenges that managers can face in managing Gender Diversity And Strategies that they can use in order to overcome those issues. All these discussion is supported by management theories that help managers to effectively manage the aspect of gender diversity.
Dahanayake et al., (2018) stated that many researches demonstrated that the organizational commitment to diversity is important as through that organization can develop competitive advantage. Strategies enabling a genuine and sustainable commitment include addressing potential negative reactions to diversity by ensuring that all employees consider diversity programs as fair. According to Dahanayake et al., (2018) in the Australian workplaces, gender pay gap is a striking diversity related issue. As per WGEA (2016) Gender pay gap was 16.2 percent and male fulltime average earnings higher than that of women. The key cause of this issue explored was the caring role of female employees and unequal perks and benefits for the same role. On the other side, Brett (2018) pointed out the workplace conflict that can arise because of higher diversity in the organization. Some of conflicts arise when there is high level of cultural difference. Cultural groups distinguish themselves because the norms, values and beliefs that characterize them and the behaviour that their members mainly engage in to solve problems of social interaction are not all the same (Brett, 2018).
The culture and workplace conflict management can be classified on the basis of dignity culture, face culture and honor culture. Mahadwai (2016) highlighted that the workplace diversity issue need to be solved so that organizations can focus on other aspects. For that she quoted an example “I am three minorities for the price of one” this is not a triple threat rather a triple opportunity. With that, the flip side of diversity is considered as discrimination as when diverse workplaces are promoted there are more chances of discrimination at the workplace. One of the most seen issues is discrimination on the basis of gender. In this manner, Mahadwai (2016) stated that diversity is a major issue that need to be addressed by managers.
According to Badal and Harter (2014) managers face many issues in managing gender diversity in an organization such as no such opportunities to female employees mainly in fields such as architecture and engineering. As in these organizations women ratio as compared to men remain unequal. With that, managers face difficulty in attracting more women in the workplace because of the role and responsibilities that women have in their personal life. As per report by Morgan Stanley in 2016, the stock prices of gender diverse companies perform extraordinarily as compared to male dominated companies (Dennissen et al., 2020). With that, there are number of situation in which manager’s face issues in developing a safe environment for women. When managers failed to do so it becomes difficult to retain the ratio of men and women in the organization (Bibi, 2016). Another challenge that manager face is that despite of developing diversity programme, it is difficult for women to reach at the top management. So here challenges for managers are; attracting women workforce, ensuring equality at the top management and handling gender pay gap.
The above mentioned issues that managers face in managing gender diversity can be addressed by using the strategies such as developing effective recruitment and selection strategy, setting up mentoring schemes, offer flexible working arrangements, creating a culture that embraces diversity and improved transparency around pay (Begeç, 2013). Mentor play a significant role in boosting confidence of female in the organization as through that woman will champion their personal development (Dennissen et al., 2018). When women feel that their professional development is being taken care they seek for more opportunities. Furthermore, the issue of attracting women can be solved by developing an effective recruitment process. This includes manager should evaluate candidates on the basis of their experience and skills without letting unconscious biases influence their decision (Cho et al., 2017). Such as at the time of hiring managers consider masculine connotations such as determination and aggression and many other traits. Managers can also offer flexible working to women in order to maintain the gender diversity ratio as this also help women to progress up the corporate ladder. Managers have to ensure that there is transparency in salary structure as this reduces the issue of gender pay gap (Dennissen et al., 2020). At last, the focus of managers can be on creating a culture that embrace diversity this can be done by aligning these aims with the organizational goals. Such as the management practices and policies developed by managers should consider the gender equality and address the issues of gender diversity in the organization.
From the above essay it is clear that diversity is an issue that organizations have to address. The above discussion is on the gender diversity in an organization. Considering the discussion that is developed using various journal articles it is concluded that gender pay gap is major issue in Australian workplace, Managers also face issues in managing gender diversity as for them it is difficult to attract women, boost their career and retain them at top level and providing them benefits and perks as equal to men. These issues can be addressed by offering flexible hours, developing effective recruitment strategy, ensuring transparency in pay structure and developing a culture where diversity is encouraged.
Badal, S. and Harter, J.K., 2014. Gender diversity, business-unit engagement, and performance. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 21(4), pp.354-365.
Begeç, S., 2013. Effective diversity management initiatives. International Review of Management and marketing, 3(2), pp.63-74.
Bibi, N., 2016. Role of gender diversity in organizational effectiveness and its implications. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(4S).
Brett, J., 2018. Intercultural challenges in managing workplace conflict–a call for research. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management. Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 32-52. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/10.1108/CCSM-11-2016-0190
Cho, S., Kim, A. and Mor Barak, M.E., 2017. Does diversity matter? Exploring workforce diversity, diversity management, and organizational performance in social enterprises. Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 11(3), pp.193-204.
Dahanayake, P., Rajendran, D., Selvarajah, C. and Ballantyne, G., 2018. Justice and fairness in the workplace: A trajectory for managing diversity. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. Vol.37 (5), p.470-490.
Dennissen, M., Benschop, Y. and van den Brink, M., 2020. Rethinking diversity management: An intersectional analysis of diversity networks. Organization Studies, 41(2), pp.219-240.
Mahdawi, A., 2016. The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity. Tedx Talk.