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Distinction between the individuals and groups

Critically evaluate why more organisations are adopting a managing diversity policy rather than one based on equal opportunities and comment on whether this shift primarily rhetorical or one of substance.

The diversity is referred to as acceptance and respect. Diversity denotes that situation where one considers that individuals are unique, and they identify the differences in each other. The diversity can be measured in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, physical abilities, age, political beliefs and ideologies and sexual orientation. It is necessary for every organization to explore these differences in a positive and fostering environment (Schwabenland and Tomlinson, 2008). Diversity is a set of practices that engages and appreciates the interconnection among the humanity, cultures, and natural environment (Chebel d'Appollonia and Reich, 2010). Workplace diversity is regarded as the myriad differences between the members of the organization. This might seem to be simple, but the diversity covers race, ethnicity, age, personality, behavior, organizational functions, education, cultural backgrounds and other ideologies. The perception of diversity within the workplace does not only address the individual’s perspective but also respect and consider the perspective of others within the organization. The human resources professionals work towards ensuring that the employees work effectively by dealing the issues related to communication, adaptability and change within the organization. Diversity management is the process of maintaining positive work environment so that the similarities and the differences between the employees are valued (Chen, 2011). This would drive all employees towards their maximum potentiality so that they can contribute to the organization by yielding the maximum profits by achieving the strategic goals and objectives.

The important difference between the managing diversity and the equal opportunities is the driving force of implementation. The equal opportunities deal in the externally initiated and are instigated by the legislation and society ethnic like the fairness, justice and parity within the group and human rights. On the other hand, the diversity management is driven by the external forces but is initiated by the needs of the business. It is required that the organization emphasize on the effectiveness of the employees by utilization of the skills and knowledge. If these skills are not recognized, then there is workplace discrimination and is costly to deal with (das Neves and Melé, 2013). Thus, it is important that the employees are fully recognized and that the employees with diversified background must be engaged by the organization. This would represent equal opportunities within the organization that is necessary for the improvement of the effectiveness of the business as well as enhance the competitive edge. Another important difference between the managing diversity and equal opportunities is the objective of the tow approach. The objective of the equal opportunity is to rectify the imbalance, injustice and mistake that must be in compliance with the social justice and human rights. On the other hand, the managing diversity aims to treat the employees as individuals and to address the unique needs, and this will need a different type of assistance for organizational success. The essential difference between the managing diversity and the equal opportunities is that the managing diversity policy considers the facets of business and economics of the organization. On the other hand, the equal opportunities deal in the society oriented case where everyone is treated equally (Desivilya and Raz, 2015). The equal opportunity principle was unwillingly imposed on the employer to which they fought hard against the legislation.

Reasons for the adoption of the Managing Diversity Policies

Equal opportunity is described as the traditional case where fair, just and group parity is ensured and which the employers do not implement. Managing diversity, according to Torrington is initiated by the managers as it is their duty to ensure full re-organization and utilization of their skills. Some of the activities that are undertaken by the organization to manage workplace diversity are implementing multicultural workshop, core shop to train the small group of advisory, rewarding managers on their performance and initiating development programs. In this way, it can be said that all employee acquire the same level of opportunity for improvement and recognition. But equal opportunities are commenced by the HR or personal managers. This approach does not focus on each and every member of the organization, but the benefits are experienced by only the disadvantaged groups of the organization. Thus, it can be concluded that managing diversity alters the philosophies of the company and, on the other hand, the equal opportunities change the systems and the practices of the organization (The competitive advantage of embracing diversity, 2005).

It had been anticipated that the labor market would be flooded with women workforce and ethnic minorities, and this would lead to the increase of the overall age of the workforce. The changes in the demographic patterns would imply that there must be an expansion of the labor pool so that the ethnic minorities and the women workforce, as well as the disadvantaged groups, are incorporated into the workforce. This requires the organizations to be prepared for the demographic changes. The diversity in the workforce does not highlight discrimination rather the skills of the different employees are used as a competitive advantage and the untapped market could be targeted in this way (Bjerregaard and Lauring, 2013). According to Egan and Bendick (2003) the characteristics of the workforce must include average old population, to be dominated by the women workforce, employees engaging in part-time works and to contract within 30 years. These changes within the organization led to the adoption of the managing diversity policy as a necessity.

There are three main reasons on which the adoption of the workforce diversity policies depends on. They are:

Ethical- Most of the companies supports the notion that it is important to provide opportunities to the members of the socially disadvantaged groups so that they can competitive with everyone within the society.

Regulatory- It is evident from the perspective of small companies as they establish the diversity targets that would be in compliance with anti-discrimination targets. This would lead to the alteration in the mix of the employees within the organizations .

Benefits of Managing Diversity Policies

Economic- The companies invests in the commencement of the diversity policies as they perceive the act to yield economic benefits that will aim to surpass the costs of the implementation of such policies.

Companies are taking decisions to invest in the diversity policies so that this would create better business prospects and strengthen the competitiveness of the company by enhancing human and organizational capital (Dickie and Soldan, 2008). The companies are making decisions to invest in the workforce diversity mainly because of the changes in the product markets as it is necessary to understand the needs of the customers and keep a check on the competitors, labour market as it is important to ensure that the values, quality and the availability of the current and the future employees are sustained, capital markets as to build the confidence of the investors which would drive business growth, government influence as to analyze the effect of the public policy through the regulations, legislations and pressures under political framework and the social values as it is important pay heed to the expectations of the citizens on the behavior of the organization (Aldashev and Carletti, 2009). So some of the benefits that the companies derives on the implementation of the managing diversity policies are as follows:

Product and Service Innovation- Diversity ensures that new ideas are generated n geometric progression that enhances creativity and innovation. The diversified workforce can stimulate the less obvious alternatives for a particular business practices. In this way, the new ideas generate product innovation and thus, the needs and the expectations of the customers are satisfied.

Improved Teamwork- Teamwork is the crucial factor for the organizational operations. The interactions within the diverse workforce generate new ideas that improve the morale and motivation of the organization.

Enhanced reputation- The companies with diversified workforce implies that the customers, clients, and the investors have enhanced image, reputation and patronage about the companies as compared to the companies who do not engage in workforce diversity. This gives the companies to target the diversified groups that reduce the crunch in the talent and positively impact the business expansion.

Effective and efficient workforce- The act of the organization to value the employees equally, to treat them fairly and to provide them dignity leads to the satisfaction of the employees. This gives them the motivation to work better and thus improving their productivity. As the workplace stress, frustration and low morale have been reduced, the absenteeism and the attrition rates also got reduced.So it can be said that not all companies implement diversity policies to meet the mere legal obligations but also to reap the business benefits in terms of better recruitment and higher retention rates among the talented and diversified workforce.

Business Expansion- With the advent of globalization heterogeneous teams is built for problem solving and to promote creative solutions which can expand the business on a worldwide basis. Thus, the workforce diversity leads to business expansion .

  • Fairness- The challenges are related to the difference in the division of workforce as compared to the better workforce. In this regard, it is the responsibility of the management to assess the degree of adoption of HR programs in the diversification of the employees .
  • Resistance to Change- The traditional corporate culture is resistant to change. This change causes hindrance to the engagement of the women and backward communities of the workforce within the corporate setting .
  • Interpersonal conflict- the workforce diversity can also lead to open conflict and confusion if there are mistrust and lack of respect among the members of the diversified group. This implies that with higher diversification within the organization, the higher is the risk of conflicts .
  • Retention- the job satisfaction level for the women and the backward class of employees are lower than that of the majorities of the organization. Thus, it is difficult for the retention of these sections of the workforce.

The workforce diversity and the equitable treatment of the employees are a result of the change in the organizational cultures. Diversity is not free of cost, so there are different kinds of costs related to the implementation of the diversity policies.

  • Costs of Legal Compliance- It is costly for the organization to implement the managing diversity policies as the potential costs are incurred for the maintenance of HR record keeping systems, training of the employees, communication of new HR policies which deals with harassment, training, and recruitment .
  • Cash Costs- This type of cost is incurred for the recruitment of specialist units for the better implementation of the diversity policies, for the training purposes, additional facilities that are required to support the diversity policies, for the improvement of the working conditions, advancement in the communication by building commitments and awareness, implementation of new employment policies and for the monitoring and reporting of the progress of the process of workforce diversity.
  • Opportunity Costs- This requires that the top authorities pay heed to the diversity policies and in the process of workforce diversity which diverts them from the actual goal of the organization .
  • The loss in productivity- the engagement of new diverse employees implies that the organization face certain short-term fall in the productivity as they are inexperienced and requires training to achieve expected productivity.


There has been an increase in the investment in the workforce diversity across different types of companies. The traditional equal opportunities are concerned with treating the society equally. On the contrary, the diversity aims to identify the individual needs within an organization. The workforce diversity means that the women and the minority workforce are given the same opportunities to engage in the corporate setting. The paper highlighted the reason behind the adoption of managing diversity policies. The advantage and the costs of the adoption of the diversity policies are discussed in this paper. Thus, it can be said that more and more organizations are adopting the diversity policies to improve the work environment, engage in product innovation and overall growth within the organizations. Thus, the equal opportunities are superior to the workforce diversity that is beneficial for every organization.


Aldashev, G. and Carletti, T. (2009). Benefits of diversity, communication costs, and public opinion dynamics. Complexity, 15(2), pp.54-63.

Bjerregaard, T. and Lauring, J. (2013). Managing contradictions of corporate social responsibility: the sustainability of diversity in a frontrunner firm. Bus Ethics Eur Rev, 22(2), pp.131-142.

Budescu, D. and Budescu, M. (2012). How to measure diversity when you must. Psychological Methods, 17(2), pp.215-227.

Chebel d'Appollonia, A. and Reich, S. (2010). Managing ethnic diversity after 9/11. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Chen, S. (2011). Diversity management. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

das Neves, J. and Melé, D. (2013). Managing Ethically Cultural Diversity: Learning from Thomas Aquinas. J Bus Ethics, 116(4), pp.769-780.

Desivilya, H. and Raz, M. (2015). Managing diversity and social divisions in nurses’ work teams.EuroMed Journal of Business, 10(2), pp.264-278.


Dickie, C. and Soldan, Z. (2008). Diversity management. Prahran, Vic.: Tilde University Press.

Divinagracia, M. and Divinagracia, L. (2012). Students’ Attitudinal Constraints towards Workplace Diversity – Managing Innovation in International Business Education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 40, pp.77-85.

Kinyanjui, S. (2013). Innovative Strategies for Managing Workforce Diversity in Kenyan Leading Corporations in Present Global Scenario. IJBM, 8(15).

Kirton, G. and Greene, A. (2010). The dynamics of managing diversity. Burlington: Elsevier.

Patrick, H. and Kumar, V. (2012). Managing Workplace Diversity: Issues and Challenges. SAGE Open, 2(2).

Rao, A. (2012). Managing diversity: Impact of religion in the Indian workplace. Journal of World Business, 47(2), pp.232-239.

Schwabenland, C. and Tomlinson, F. (2008). Managing diversity or diversifying management?. Critical perspectives on international business, 4(2/3), pp.320-333.

The competitive advantage of embracing diversity. (2005). Leader to Leader, 2005(36), pp.60-61.

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