Diversity Audit the Coca Cola Essay

Pages: 10 (3388 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Diversity does not include only gender diversity. Racial diversity is equally important in the workplace because the labour pool has also become increasingly diversified. Latinos, African-Americans and Asians are some of the largest racial minorities in the United States. As of 2010, 34% of the non-hourly employees of the company were from various minority groups. The percentage of minority persons in the new employees hired in 2010 was 36% (The Coca Cola Company 2010, p. 4).

Analysis of Institutional Mechanisms

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The Coca Cola Company has several institutional mechanisms in place to promote diversity in and beyond the workplace. The most significant of the institutional structures are the Business Resource Groups. The Business Resource Groups, also known as BRGs are composed of employees belonging to minority groups in the workforce, for example, the African-American Business Resource Groups includes the African-American employees as its members. These BRGs offer career development, training and networking opportunities to their members so that they may develop their potential to serve the organization. In order to convey the organization's dedication and commitment to the success of these BRGs, each BRG is headed by a senior management member as the Executive Champion to guide the activities and programs of the BRG. Currently, there are six active BRGs operating throughout the company. Some of these include the Asian/Pacific American Business Resource Group for developing Asian-American employees, the Latino Business Resource Group for developing Latino employees' professional skills, KOLAGE to support the LGBT employees in the workforce and Women's Linc to support the development of women in the workforce.

Essay on Diversity Audit the Coca Cola Assignment

In addition to the BRGs, the Coca Cola Company also Employee-Resolution Resources. This mechanism has been put in place to ensure that the organization is able to address issues of discrimination among its employees so that the interests of all employees are protected. The organization does provide diversity training to its employees through the MicroInequities and MicroAdvantages programs, but when an issue comes up it is addressed through the Employee-Resolution Resources program. This includes various mechanisms such as an official ombuds for informing the management of an act of discrimination, an Employee Reporting Service, an Employee Assistance Program and a program called Solutions. Under this program, the company provides an open door to employees who want to report and discuss instances of discrimination. The program facilitates the resolution of the conflict and even refers the case to arbitration if necessary. In addition, the company also has an ethics hotline that employees can use to report discrimination and to obtain information on diversity issues. The company also has a Diversity Advisory Council that discusses diversity issues and develops programs at the senior level. Starting from 2010, the company has also instituted a program to increase the recruitment of people with disabilities into the workforce. The Coca Cola Company has also been associated with the Special Olympics since 1968 as part of its commitment to the provision of equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Despite such a long association with the event, the company has only recently undertaken recruitment of people with disabilities into the workforce, which does not reflect well on its vision.

Analysis of Diversity in Management

The commitment of an organization to diversity is best reflected in the diversity of its management team and the management practices. This is because the management team possesses the resources to facilitate operational procedures and to determine the direction of the organization, not to forget the power to reward and punish other employees in the organization. At the Coca Cola Company, gender diversity in the management team does not reflect the gender diversity in the population. Only 26% of the global leadership is composed of women as opposed to half of the population being composed of women (The Coca Cola Company 2010, p. 14). There has been some progress in increasing the representation of women in the senior management but it has been slow. In 2000, there was no woman on the six-member operating group leadership team. In 2010, there was only one woman in the eight-member team. Similarly, in 2000, the women only represented 18% of the elected officers of the company. In 2010, that percentage had jumped up to 29% (The Coca Cola Company 2010, p. 43), showing that the growth in the representation of women has been more in the elected positions than in the appointed positions. This progress does not reflect the efforts of the company at increasing the participation and recruitment of women. This discrepancy is the result of only a recent attempt at increasing the proportion of women in the management team. An alternative explanation might indicate the presence of a glass ceiling that prevents the progress of women beyond a certain level in the management hierarchy. The organization may have to overcome its social dilemma between maximizing vested interests of the current senior management and the welfare of the women workforce (Airaksinen & Gasparski 1993, p. 111).

Diversity is also analyzed in the management processes of the Coca Cola Company. The Coca Cola Company ensures pay equity in its remuneration policy to ensure that employees are not given pay differentials on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or any other discrimination. In terms of performance management, the company also stresses that performance reviews do not discriminate against certain employees. The management addresses any violations of the diversity policy by taking corrective action. Even in the administration of rewards such as stock-options and other incentives, the company ensures that no discrimination has taken place in the awarding of these incentives (The Coca Cola Company 2010, p. 14).

Analysis of Diversity in Marketing

The Coca Cola Company has also undertaken efforts at incorporating diversity into its marketing campaigns. The marketing campaigns need to reflect diversity because the Coca Cola Company sells its products to consumers in 200 countries. Diversity needs to be incorporated in the interpretation of the themes in its advertising and in the selection of its models. Culturally relevant images and messages should be used in its advertisements to appeal to the consumers.

The company has a Multicultural Consumer Marketing Team that develops branding and promotional strategies to a multicultural consumer market. The team is responsible for creating messages that resonate with a diverse market and result in acceptance of the product. The Team is currently focused on developing campaigns for the African-American and Latin American market segments. As part of its strategy, the marketing team conducts both "depth" and "breadth" programming in which it simultaneously develops promotions with themes specific to the target consumer segment along with promotional messages related to the segment that can be blended in with the regular promotional programs for the general market.

The Company is also focusing on the Asian market that, although makes up only five percent of the United States market, is one of the fastest growing segments and also the one with some of the highest income levels in the country. As part of its depth programming for the Asian market, the company developed a special promotional program for the 2010 Chinese lunar year. The company is also developing special promotional programs for the African-American community by launching the Sprite Step Off Campaign that reaches out to African-American youth in the community. Since football is widely popular among the Hispanics in the United States, the company has traditionally participated in the FIFA World Cup event to reach out to the Hispanic consumers. The Company also celebrated the Hispanic Heritage Month in 2010.

Analysis of Diversity in Business Partners and Community Programs

The Coca Cola Company has also taken steps to promote diversity throughout the value chain by using diversity as a criterion in sourcing its suppliers. The senior management of the company believes that supplier diversity is a source of increasing revenues for the company. The company encourages developing business relationships with supplier firms that are owned by women, minority members and members from the LGBT community. In addition, the company also aims to increase the number of its supplier firms that are run by veterans. In 2010, the company won the Women's Business Enterprise National Council Top Corporation Doing Business with Women Award as well as the America's Top Corporation for Multicultural Business Opportunities Award by DiversityBusiness.com. Social engineering (Lynch, 2001) may be necessary to bring about such change.

The Coca Cola Company also participates in outreach programs that highlight its support of diverse and multicultural communities. The Coca Cola Company also sponsors the annual fundraising activities of the Human Rights Campaign, a champion of LGBT rights in the United States. This explains that the company is sensitive to the discrimination faced by them according to the stigma theory (Webb & Sherman, 1989). The company also encourages its employees to volunteer their time to various community building activities and programs. This helps to reflect the commitment of the company to diversity in the community.

Evaluation and Recommendations

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