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Workforce diversity

Workforce diversity

Author: James Howard

This lesson explains workplace diversity and what an affirmative action plan is.

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Hello, and welcome to this tutorial on Workforce Diversity. Now as always with these tutorials please feel free to fast forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to get the most out of the time that you'll spend here. So let me ask you a couple of questions. What is it that is diversity? What is it you think of when I say that term? And why is it important to you, to me, and most importantly to the employers that we're eventually going to work for?

Now during this lesson we're going to be looking at Workforce Diversity. We're also to be taking a look at something called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. And we're going to be discussing Affirmative Action Plans. The key terms for this lesson are going to be Workforce Diversity and Affirmative Action Plans.

Now Workforce Diversity simply defined is employing people from all wide variety of backgrounds within an organization. You see, Workforce Diversity tends to really benefit a company because all these different backgrounds help to breed different ideas from different perspectives.

And HR's role in this is more than just hiring employees. You see, HR has to deal with a lot of different things that go around that hiring issue. They also have to deal with things such as temporary employees within an organization. Now diversity is going to include aspects of a wide range of categories. And those categories can be backgrounds, where was it that I was raised? Where was it that I grew up?

We're also going to be looking at race. What race do I have working within my company? Or different races, ideally. We're also going to be looking at gender, male, female. And socioeconomic status, as well as the age of our workforce. All of these things go together to make up this thing we call Workforce Diversity. And you can see if we include people from all of these different backgrounds then we have a more diverse workforce for one, but also we have a lot of different perspectives that we can put to use to solve different problems throughout the organization.

Now the value of diversity is, like I said. it brings along a variety of perspectives for different aspects of the company. We also get to improve business reputation. By being a more diverse employer we tend to have better relations with the community. And this can really enhance a business's reputation.

We have a diversity of options that we can choose from as far as opinions that are put forth for different problems. So these opinions that these people bring to an organization can really benefit and conflict resolution, as a result, can be a lot smoother.

We tend to have a better workforce because we get to choose from a larger hiring pool. We're not limiting ourselves to people from one particular educational background, or one particular ethnic group, or race, or sex. Because we have a lot of different people we're choosing from that workforce pool gets to be much bigger. And we get to have increased flexibility for our workforce. For example, different religious holidays for people of different cultural backgrounds.

Now the EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, enforces federal laws against discrimination. Now the EEOC will look at things like hiring, and firing, and harassment when they're looking for companies that are discriminating against a particular group of people. Now in order for the EEOC to regulate a particular business that business needs to have 15 or more employees before it will really start looking at the practices that that company uses as far as hiring, firing, or harassment.

Affirmative Action Plans, well, that's a plan put in place by an organization to increase workforce diversity and decrease the likelihood of discrimination. So what we get when a company has an affirmative action plan is increased workforce diversity because they're affirmatively or positively and proactively looking at this thing we call diversity and ensure that they're getting the most benefit they can from that diverse workforce.

Now in addition to companies being proactive and voluntarily doing it, it may also be required in order to meet one of the EEOC legal issues. Now an Affirmative Action Plan will have several components. One is Analysis. You have to understand where you are an order to make a plan that's actually going to work for you. So the analysis is going to be collecting data to inform the plan, to drive that plan forward, an understanding of where we are and where we need to be.

We have the Action Plan, or that planning out of what it is that we're going to do. Once we know where we are and where we want to be we've got to have an Action Plan in order to determine how it is the we're going to get there in the best way possible.

And last we have Auditing. And Auditing is simply checking that what we did and what we said we were going to do is the same thing. If we're falling short on our Action Plan then we need to make changes in the audit process in order to ensure that we're actually getting to that place where we said we wanted to go in the first place.

So what is it we talked about today? Well, we looked at Workforce Diversity. We also talked a little bit about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. And lastly we talked about those Affirmative Action Plans that businesses use in order to increase diversity and decrease the likelihood that we're going to discriminate against a particular group of people.

Now as always I want to thank you for spending some time with me today. You folks have a great day.

Terms to Know
Affirmative Action Plan

A plan put in place by an organization to increase workplace diversity and decrease the likelihood of discrimination.

Workforce Diversity

Employing people from a wide variety of backgrounds within an organization.