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Introduction

Providing equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace is an ethical aspect that the organizations need to consider in order to earn huge benefit in the global market (Konrad, 2003). The HR managers are expected adopt good hiring strategies so that efficient workforce are recruited within the organization. The employees are trained on equal opportunities and workplace diversity so that the employees of different culture and ethnic group are able to work together (Prasad, Pringle and Konrad, 2006). Managing diversity focuses on maximising the ability of the employees that contribute to the organizational goals.

Workplace diversity also involves the access to flexible working arrangement such as part-time work and flexible hours of training provided to the employees. It is about understanding the abilities of the employees who come from diverse backgrounds and possess different abilities. The concept of workplace diversity is linked to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) that involve equity, merit and non-discrimination which puts an emphasis on the differences in workplace (Joshi, Liao and Jackson, 2006). There are several benefits of encouraging the diversity in the workplace that the managers need to consider in order to improve the performance of the organization. The paper is about understanding the importance of equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace. It also provides the scope to the researcher to evaluate the strategies adopted by HR managers to bring in workplace diversity.

Equal Opportunities at Work

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a government agency that imposes the federal laws which prohibit discrimination among the employees within an organization (Fassinger, 2008). The commission is meant to investigate the harassment that is caused by the managers within the workplace. The commission ensures that training is provided to the employees so that they are able to work with other employees peacefully and they possess equal employment opportunities. The employers maintain employment records within the organization so that they can preserve the company from any sort of conflicts that take place within the organization. Although many of the employees are provided with the equal employment opportunities but they are also responsible for their own safety. In terms of the labour and employment laws, equal opportunities generally mean that there would not be any sort of discrimination against the employees of different cultural backgrounds (De Meuse and Hostager, 2001). As per the study the employer who provides equal opportunities also ensures that there are fair employment practices during the entire relationship between the employer and the employee. Equal opportunities are also ensured by the employers while imparting training to the employees such that they develop skills in order to improve their performance within the organization.

Offering training and development opportunities or mentoring on non-discriminatory basis can be considered as an example for the equal opportunities provided to the employees. The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was set up within the organization in order to tackle the issue of gender discrimination and ensure that women have equal rights as compared to men (Kossek, Lobel and Brown, 2006). Providing equal opportunities to the employees within the organization ensure successful business and the employees are satisfied with their jobs. The job satisfaction of the employees in turn ensures that they would deliver better performance within the organization. Employees who possess wide range of skills are considered to be more productive within the organization and therefore the managers consider diversity as an important aspect within the organization (Christian, Porter and Moffitt, 2006). Moreover, providing equal opportunities to the team members within the organization helps the teams to perform its duties successfully. The teams would be able to deal with the challenges that are faced by them within the organization through the discussion that they are able to make within the organization. Equal opportunities enable the employees to work together as well as bring in innovation within the organization.

Diversity in Workplace

Workplace Diversity is dependent on the principle of equal employment opportunity to the employees of different cultural backgrounds and also there are differences in gender, race, ethnicity, intellectual as well as physical ability. Diversity also involves the other differences among the employees such as life experience, educational as well as socio-cultural background and the family responsibilities of the employees within the organization (Probst, 2003). Workplace Diversity is used to built a relationship among the employees and the management in order to understand their requirement and perform accordingly. It creates a more supportive work environment and better team work such that the employees can improve their decision making capability.

The diversity in workplace has been supported in both public as well as private sector organizations in order to ensure employee retention and improve productivity within the organization. The HR managers are responsible to understand the needs of the employees as well as the organization so that they can develop strategies in order to reduce the conflicts within the organization (Hill, 2009). The aim of every organization should be to develop a workplace culture where the differences among educational levels, marital status and family responsibilities are valued. The benefits of the workplace diversity involve creating a good workplace for the employees that encourages them to work harder. It also ensures satisfaction of the customers and the employees so that a positive relationship is built up among the employees and the managers within the organization. The diversity within the workplace also focuses on engagement of the employees within the organization. The brand image of the organization has attracted the employees and has ensured the retention of the employees within the organization. Workplace diversity is considered to be a good management practice which is expected to enhance the performance of the organization and to create value for the employees (Burkard, Boticki and Madson, 2002).

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