Diversity is defined as a different group within a society. It is the variety differences that exist in a group of people in a particular location. Diversity refers to difference in race, ethnicity, age, cognitive style, education, background, gender, and personality. People from different diverse group have different cultures, perspectives, religion, language, and beliefs. Therefore, diversity refers to dimensions of human life that exist (Amaram, 2011).
Race: This dimension refers to grouping individual in terms of shared physical trains, genetics, or shared ancestors. They include skin color, language, and hair texture. People in the same race have shared norms and practices that are different from the other race (Darden, 2012). Australia has mixed race population that includes indigenous aboriginals, British settlers, Asian immigrates and migrants from all parts of the world.
Gender: This dimension of diversity refers to sexually of an individual. People are either male or female. The workplace can either be diverse with both gender or dominated by one gender.
The following are laws that cover diverse workplaces;
Age Discrimination Act of 2004
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Australia Human Rights Commission Act of 1986
Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Fair work Act 2009
Workplace Gender Equality Act of 2012
Sex Discrimination Act of 1984
The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012
The following Act governs gender equality in the workplace. The act ensures that there is no discrimination on basis of gender. It ensure that there is equal pay, equal participation of all genders especially women in an organization workforce and there is access of occupation in the organization regardless of gender.
The Workplace Gender Equality Act of 2012 affects optical dispensing workplace in the following ways; First it require an annual report on gender equality and inclusion in the workplace that has to be submitted through the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Secondly, the WGE Act 2012 affects the composition of the workforce in an optical dispensing workplace. The recruitment or promotion of employees in the organization to any position has to be offered equitability regardless of the gender. Therefore, the WGE Act of 2012 affects how the owner or managers of an optical dispensing company has to hire, promote, treat, and compensate employees in the workplace.
Human right refers to rights and freedom inherent to a human being. Every human being has a right regardless of their sex, nationality, ethnic origin, language, color, background or other status that an individual can have. Human rights are protected by the government through enactments of laws. Each person’s right should be protected to avoid being discriminated or exploited. Human rights are based on dignity, equality, independence, respect, and fairness (Darden, 2012). Therefore human rights help one to express his/her opinion and not be mistreated to unjust punishment by a state.
Discrimination can be defined as unjust treatment of people who are of different categories. It is a prejudice against a group of people on basis of race, sex, ethnicity, or age. Discrimination can also be defined as making distinction or consideration in favor or against an individual on basis of a group or category that one belongs in (Gates, & Mark, 2012). Discrimination can be based on actual or perceived grouping of a person. In Australia, discrimination is defined as treating or threatening to treat an individual unfavorably because of individual characteristics that have been protected by law. Bullying is include as discrimination because it protected by Law in Australia (Santana, 2017). Discrimination can be based on age, disability, race, political belief, or physical features.
Marginalized groups refer to a group of people that is excluded from the mainstream population. Marginalized group face disadvantage either economically, socially, politically or culturally. A Marginalized group means a different group within a society that is disadvantaged at the expense of the other group. Marginalized people are denied their opportunities, resources, and various rights that are available to other members in the same society. This blocks the marginalized group from fundamental human rights and social integration in a society. Marginalization can be in form of employment, civil engagement, health care, democratic participation, or housing. Marginalization leads to people being excluded from participating in economic, political, and social life in the country that they live (Bond & Haynes, 2014).
The three most marginalized groups in Australia are homosexuals, indigenous communities and refugees and immigrants.
Homosexuality group are people who are attracted to same gender. This can be male-male or female-female relationship that ends up as marriages. This group of people has continuously stood for their right to be in relationships with who they want. Though their rights have recently been enshrined in the Country’s laws, the group continues to face marginalization in public place or workplaces (Carter, 2017). The homosexually marriages are not widely accepted by the larger society especially the religious groups. Homosexual group is marginalized in the following ways; first, they are not given equal opportunities in their workplaces. They are perceived abnormal by the society that denies then equal opportunities as compared by others individuals is the society who are heterosexual. Secondly, they are isolated and get little support from the society. Homosexual groups are isolated from the main society and they are perceived not have a bad influence that lead to the social exclusion. Homosexual group also lacks support socially or politically to have their rights fully observed. Therefore homosexual group in Australia face social stigmatization that amount to marginalization.
Indigenous communities: This group refers to the indigenous groups that existed in Australia. These include Aboriginals and Torres. These groups of people are marginalized in terms of poor health, and financial hardships. The indigenous communities lack access to good health facilities, and are unable to afford expensive treatment in private hospital thereby relying in public health. The indigenous communities are also face financial hardships. These groups lack stable income and have little and sometimes no wealth. This lead to reliance on government support income. This lead to indigenous group living a life below their potential compared to the rest of the society that has wealth, educated and has access to good health care (Mapedzahama et al., 2012).
Refugees: This refers to a group of people who run from their country’s to seek refuge in Australia. This group of people is the most marginalized in Australia. First, they experience social stigmatization. They are viewed as threat to the country’s security that leads to stigmatization. Secondly, they have poor health care as a result of inability to access the Australian health care. Thirdly, they face social isolation. They have few social contacts with the rest of the society, get little social support, and have poor quality relationship with the mainstream society.
Discrimination and marginalization have severe health impact to the respective group. People who are discriminated or marginalized develop health problems that are either physical or psychological. Physical unwell refers to damages caused on the physical features as a result of discrimination or marginalization. Psychological or mental unwell is as a result of continuous discrimination or marginalization (Tomey, 2009). The following are the main impacts of discrimination and marginalization groups on their health;
Depression: Depression is a mood disorder that occurs to a person as a result of prolonged anxiety or stress. Marginalized and discriminated groups are isolated, stigmatized and lack health care that lead to stress and anxiety.
Adverse health behaviors: This refers to incautious and unmindful behaviors of an individual to one’s health. Marginalized and discriminated individuals become violent, injury themselves and others and in other case commit suicide (Moceri, 2012). When these individuals are prescribed to a medication, they do not take it serious. Individuals’ experiences this condition does not take care of their eating habits and this result to malnutrition or obesity. Marginalization and discrimination isolates people, deny them social support, access to quality health care and stigmatization that result to loss of self worth, hope and importance in the society.
My workplace is characterized with strict adherence to both national and company policies and laws. However, there are several dimensions of diversity and a marginalized group that exist. People in my work place generally appreciate diversity. Diversity is viewed as strength and the management advocate for equality when working in teams. People don’t complain about a promotion or recruitment on basis on gender rather on merits. On the issue of marginalization, the homosexual group is viewed as abnormality or disability that we have to tolerate and respect. Discrimination on bases of diversity is highly intolerable and all employees feel entitled to adhere with the conducts stipulated in the company policies and national Acts.
Australian Human Rights Commission | everyone, everywhere, everyday. (2017). Humanrights.gov.au. Retrieved 13 September 2017, from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/
Amaram, D. (2011). Cultural Diversity: Implications For Workplace Management. Journal Of Diversity Management (JDM), 2(4), 1. https://dx.doi.org/10.19030/jdm.v2i4.5017
Bond, M., & Haynes, M. (2014). Workplace Diversity: A Social-Ecological Framework and Policy Implications. Social Issues And Policy Review, 8(1), 167-201. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sipr.12005
Carter, E. (2017). Workforce Diversity -- A Journey Through Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace. Journal - American Water Works Association, 109, 14-16. https://dx.doi.org/10.5942/jawwa.2017.109.0007
Darden, D. (2012). Diversity in the Workplace. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2126829
Gates, M. G., & Mark, B. A. (2012). Demographic diversity, value congruence, and workplace outcomes in acute care. Research in nursing & health, 35(3), 265-276.
Mapedzahama, V., Rudge, T., West, S., & Perron, A. (2012). Black nurse in white space? Rethinking the in/visibility of race within the Australian nursing workplace. Nursing inquiry, 19(2), 153-164.
Moceri, J. T. (2012). Bias in the nursing workplace: Implications for Latino (a) nurses. Journal of cultural diversity, 19(3), 94.
Tomey, A. M. (2009). Nursing management and leadership. Elsevier, Missouri.
Santana, S. (2017). Discrimination. Humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 13 September 2017, from https://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/discrimination
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