Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: Definition, Trends & Examples

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  • 0:05 Cultural Diversity Definitions
  • 0:56 Cultural Diversity…
  • 4:07 Implementing Cultural…
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Cultural diversity is a form of appreciating the differences in individuals. The differences can be based on gender, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and social status. Companies have realized the value in acquiring a diverse workforce.

Cultural Diversity Definition

C-Transport is an aviation company that manufactures airplanes. The reason for the company's success has to do with their employees. C-Transport depends on worker diversity to bring the aircraft to fruition. Diversity consists of all the different factors that make up an individual, including age, gender, culture, religion, personality, social status and sexual orientation.

Cultural diversity (also known as multiculturalism) is a group of diverse individuals from different cultures or societies. Usually, cultural diversity takes into account language, religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, age and ethnicity. Companies started to embrace corporate diversity in the early 2000s. This was due to many trends in demographics and a changing workforce.

Cultural Diversity Trends and Examples

1. The growth of a minority workforce.

Today's workforce is made up of a very diverse population of individuals from every part of the world, which creates dynamic multiracial and multicultural organizations. Such diversity brings with it many differences in skills, abilities and experiences. Because C-Transport values having a very diverse workforce themselves, they ensured that human resources recruited a minority representation within the corporation. This created an atmosphere where different viewpoints and ideas came out of brainstorming sessions and were welcomed.

2. The second trend is a growth of stereotyping and prejudices.

This can be hard to avoid when so many different cultures come together in a work environment. For example, many of C-Transport's executives were against hiring female engineers. Many executives were from the old school and thought that the female engineers would not be as dependable due to possible maternity breaks.

3. Another trend companies are embracing is the addition of sensitivity or diversity training.

This type of training educates all employees about cultural differences so that they can understand and appreciate each other. The purpose of sensitivity training is to teach employees how to properly act and communicate in a corporate environment. Topics covered in a sensitivity training session will include learning proper etiquette, appropriate terminology, improvement of communication skills, anti-bullying management styles and how to eliminate sexual harassment within a company. C-Transport ran a sensitivity training class for employees who were not accepting of female engineers.

4. The fourth trend is a large increase of females in the workforce.

In fact, over the past few decades, women's participation in the workforce has grown dramatically to account for almost half of the labor force. It is not a surprise that many of C-Transport's recent job applicants were female engineers. C-Transport found that they brought a unique approach to designing aircrafts.

5. Another trend is that corporations became more open to hiring individuals with disabilities and accepting different abilities.

While still considerably underused, organizations are quickly beginning to realize that disabled workers are a vital part of the workforce. The advent of new technologies and accommodations has allowed organizations such as C-Transport to recruit and utilize disabled workers in their labor force. Likewise, there has been an increase and appreciation for individuals with unique talents and abilities. Technology and an appreciation for all types of educational training and skills allowed C-Transport to tap into a section of workers that other companies ignored.

6. The last cultural diversity trend is an increase in the aging employment pool of workers.

People are retiring later, and that creates unique opportunities for organizations to utilize a lifetime of skills and experiences from older employees. C-Transport was able to access a larger pool of older, experienced engineer consultants who worked only part-time to help develop the aircraft and saved the company big money.

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