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How to Overcome the Issue of Diversity in the Workplace

By Shemiah Williams ; Updated June 13, 2017
A diverse workplace.

It’s no secret that many countries have a history of racial inequality and intolerance. In recent years, increased awareness of equality and justice have led to increases in tolerance of others who are of different ethnic backgrounds, gender or age. Although much progress has been made, acceptance and appreciation of diversity is still not a regular occurrence. Overcoming diversity issues is not an easy task. However, addressing these issues in the workplace can provide valuable education and lead to positive change for everyone involved.

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Engage the human resources department. Being tolerant and respectful of others is not a personal preference. In fact, there are many laws and regulations designed to prevent improper treatment and discrimination in the workplace. Advising the appropriate human resources representative of a known issue with diversity allows her to address the issue in the appropriate manner and ensure that all personnel are made aware of the pertinent regulations. As diversity has become an increasingly prevalent issue in the workplace, many employers have developed and implement mandatory diversity training to address issues with gender, age or ethnicity, states the Boston Globe.

Perform personal outreach. It’s not necessary to go on a personal crusade, however, if a discriminatory incident arises, an employee should feel comfortable voicing his opinion about the situation and reiterating the importance of diversity. Surprisingly, many people are not fully aware that they don’t understand diversity. Use a misunderstood situation as an opportunity to educate the person on how diversity plays into everyday life. Everyone is different. It’s not necessary to like everyone, but it is necessary to respect them in the workplace.

Communicate regularly. Diversity can be a touchy subject and sometimes employers choose to handle isolated incidents quietly and sweep them under the rug. Communicating regularly about these issues is what helps to ensure that they do not continue to occur. According to Notter Consulting, raising employees’ awareness about the issues of diversity and making an effort to rectify issues in a positive, educational way can prevent the occurrence of bad morale and low productivity.

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About the Author

Shemiah Williams has been writing for various websites since 2009 and also writes for "Parle Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in business and technology and a master's degree in clinical psychology. Williams serves as a subject matter expert in many areas of health, relationships and professional development.

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