Individual Diversity: Biographical & Demographical Characteristics

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  • 0:05 Diversity Characteristics
  • 0:59 Age
  • 1:45 Gender
  • 2:29 Race
  • 3:21 Tenure
  • 4:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Biological and demographic characteristics such as age, gender, race and length of tenure are easily acquired through work documents, and these characteristics can help predict how individuals will behave at work.

Diversity Characteristics

Imagine a company where everyone was the same age, race, ethnicity and gender. Could this company offer diverse ideas or understand different target markets? Probably not. Smart organizations want a pool of talent that can offer different ideas and viewpoints. In order to achieve this goal, they need to create a diversified workforce.

Two key ways to identify diversity in workers is through biological and demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, race and length of tenure, that are easily acquired through work documents. Biological and demographic characteristics can help predict how individuals will behave at work. Messy Chocolates makes popular candy bars. The company prides itself on having a diverse workforce. Here are the reasons why:


Research has been conducted regarding the role that age plays with employee success. The findings show that older employees tend to have lower absentee rates and are less likely to quit. Messy Chocolates has incorporated this information into their hiring practices. They prefer not to recruit employees right out of high school or college for their management program. Instead, they prefer to recruit experienced workers from other industries or competitors.

This has led to a more diverse, experienced management group. They do hire younger workers, but place them into a training program that introduces them to different departments within the company such as marketing, production, management and even the mailroom. This creates well-rounded workers for the company.


Gender characteristics really don't show any productivity differences between males and females at work. Employers have realized, though, that parents with kids (regardless of gender) have greater absenteeism, probably due to kid-related issues. Messy Chocolate does try to ensure a mix of both males and females in all levels of production, marketing and management.

The company realized that to improve job commitment in employees with children, they needed to add an onsite daycare and doctor's office. Now their parent worker absentee rates have dropped over 60%. The daycare and medical benefits attract many experienced workers across the state who desire having a place for their kids during the day.


Race refers to an individual's racial heritage, while ethnicity depends on additional cultural values. Race and culture play a part in workplace relationships, as studies have shown that individuals usually prefer working with other employees who share a similar background. Companies need to educate employees on accepting differences in employees and using the differences as an advantage.

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