Need of Workplace Diversity Equal Opportunity Work Life Balance in Sustainability Article

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Workplace Diversity

Diversity

Diversity usually conjures up the image of a place where not everyone is alike. This could mean males and females as well as people from different nationalities. However, there are so many different dynamics that go into what makes a situation diverse. Workplace diversity is an important issue and is necessary in order for businesses to be sustainable. Employees need to know that they are valued and that their employers are flexible. They also need to know that whatever their circumstances, they will have a fair and equal opportunity in the workplace the same as the next person. Because of this, employers must be focused on not only the bottom line, but they must invest in the employees and let them know that they are valued. Work-life balance is extremely important to employees and employers as well. When workers are happy in the work environment productivity can increase as well as job satisfaction.

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In order for the workplace to be considered diverse, many things need to be considered. Employers must steer away from the notion of the family unit as it was seen many years ago. This family consisted of the father, the mother and children. While this may be the ideal type of family, nowadays families come in various forms and the workplace must recognize this and adapt accordingly. There are many families that are now headed by only one parent and in most cases that parent is the mother. Because of the extra burdens placed on single parents, employers must be flexible in understanding that this person may require special consideration because he or she is carrying the entire load. As such, with this type of family unit the parent may need to be able to flex work hours or even work at home at least one day a week in order to balance the work and home life.

Article on Need of Workplace Diversity Equal Opportunity Work Life Balance in Sustainability Assignment

Another type of family unit would be a same sex family unit. Same sex relationships are not frowned upon as much as they were even ten years ago. In some cases couples of the same sex may have children that they are responsible for. In such an instance as this, it is important for the employer to recognized this type of family unit and extend the same benefits as it would to what we consider a 'normal' family. Same sex relationships or marriages need health benefits just as anyone else. This is important and many employers are beginning to recognize this type of family and treating them no differently than any other type of family unit. This is another way for an employer to show that it is diverse.

Being a single parent might not be the ideal route for many. Most of us would prefer to have a mate help us with child rearing and family issues. However, we live in a time where many women are having children alone. Whether they elect to become a single parent by choice, or if they become one by accident being a single parent is something that is not easy to do. The employer must definitely recognize this type of family unit because it is a fast growing one. Many single parents may need to have the option to flex their work hours because their children need to be dropped off to daycare, the baby sitter or to school. They do not have the option of having a spouse assist them with these duties. Therefore, those in this type of environment may need the employer to allow them to come in later or work from home more often because of their family obligations.

The single man or single woman is another unit that populates the workplace. Those belonging to this category should not be overlooked or discounted by the employer or other employees because they only have themselves to care for. They are still a part of the workplace and must be treated the same and given the same benefits as everyone else. The employer must not only make the workplace a friendly one for those with spouses and children, but also for the single employee.

The most obvious form of diversity and one that more than likely comes to mind when the word is mentioned is diversity in the form of different races and nationalities within the workplace. Employers must be inclusive of everyone that is qualified no matter what the race of the person is. With the use of technology and social media, we may be continents apart, but the reality is that we are closer than ever. We have the capability to communicate with people from different businesses all over the globe quickly and efficiently. In order for businesses to remain competitive and be sustainable, it is necessary to hire qualified individuals from all backgrounds. Companies can no longer be exclusive like they were many years ago, but they must concentrate on being inclusive. It is a competitive advantage to hire individuals who are able to speak different languages or are from different countries. These individuals may be able to assist the company when doing business with international companies.

Workplace diversity is definitely something that is needed. In order for businesses to become more global, they must demonstrate that they are open to being diverse and fair. Employees are more likely to feel comfortable and not out of place if they see others such as themselves working in the same environment. The world that we live in is diverse and the workplace should emulate this. This is not to say that a company should hire someone just because they are a single parent or because they are gay or because they are a minority. The point being made here is that all qualified individuals should feel that they have an equal chance at getting the job, being promoted and being treated fairly in the work environment.

Equal Opportunity

What does it mean for a company to state that it is an equal opportunity employer? That sounds good and looks good on paper, but what does it really mean and do companies live up to this saying? Every employee of the company and those individuals seeking to gain employment within the company should know and feel that if there is room for advancement and that they will be treated fairly. As mentioned before with diversity, workers may come from varying backgrounds and thus have different needs. If the company hires someone who is openly homosexual, that person should not feel discriminated or held back from opportunities to advance because of his or her sexual preference. The same applies to other people with needs that are different from other employees. Although we may be most familiar with equal opportunity being associated with fairness in race, ageism as it relates to employment is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Layoffs can occur whether the economy is in a recession or not. Those individuals losing their jobs are faced with the daunting task of the dreaded job search. Searching for employment itself can seem like a full-time job. it's difficult no matter the age of the unemployed, but sometimes it can be more difficult for job seekers who are over the age of forty. Older workers generally have more experience and may not have the issues that a younger employee might have such as needing to flex hours due to day care issues. However, because older workers have been in the workforce for a while, they generally request larger salaries than a prospective company is willing to pay. Some employers do not want to pay the higher salaries even though the older worker may deserve it. Some would rather hire a younger worker who is just starting out at a much lower salary with the promise that he or she will gain experience as they go along.

Religion is something that we don't often think about when it comes to equal opportunity. Yet, many companies give employees the day off for Good Friday and for Christmas. Christianity is popular among religions, but so are others. Workers who are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or any other faith should be allowed time off for observance of particular holidays that pertain to their religion without being penalized. For companies not to allow this could be considered discrimination and also could give the company a bad image or reputation for not living up to being an equal opportunity employer.

Work/life Balance

Work-life balance is a term that has become popular in the past few years. Basically, it means striking a balance between work and the employee's home life. Every company is different and must work along with the employees to help them establish this balance. It is important for workers to have this balance so that there is greater job satisfaction. If an employee feels that there is no sense of balance in work or in his personal life, he is inclined to be a less productive employee.

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