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Racialised and Gendered Barriers in Diverse Settings - Essay Example

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Global trends point to the formation of inclusive organizations that welcome people from all walks of life to contribute their ideas, talents and efforts to the pursuit of organizational goals…
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Racialised and Gendered Barriers in Diverse Settings
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Download file to see previous pages That means, it not only includes the traditional categories of race and gender, but also people with disabilities, various sexual orientations, and other non-traditional categories considered having “diversity of thought” or those from different disciplines, college degrees, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. However, many organizations and professional careers still remain resolute in embracing diversity and maintain barriers for full inclusion to be carried out. This paper attempts to answer the question, “To what extent and in what sense can we say that professional and managerial careers are gendered and racialised?” It was Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who inspired the concept of diversity when he advocated that character is what makes a person and not his skin color. This propelled lawmakers to come up with laws that provide equal opportunity to all (Mor Barak, 2000). These laws have been designed to protect anyone from discrimination for their gender, marital status, cultural background, race, age, disability, religion and other factors that may point out one’s difference from the rest of the group. “Equal opportunity” is a means by which a person receives equal access in society. “Equal opportunities approach” is premised on the principle that all people can avail of certain rights or privileges such as education, employment, health care or other welfare services without any discrimination or any preference whatsoever. The evolution of the workforce to include a more diverse population has highlighted some prejudices that mark resistance to move from more stereotypical roles. Even in today’s “politically correct” environments, prejudice and stereotypes prevent the successful implementation of inclusive policies at the workplace. Such obstacles usually suffered by women, older adults, ethnic and racial minority groups, homosexuals and the disabled include lack of support in their career planning, guidance of these nontraditional employees that is necessary for job advancement and a lonely and unsupportive work environment (Morrison, 1992). In effect, equal opportunities are not provided for all. Although there are different organizations that apply various equal opportunity practices that provide fair conditions for all their members in the process of employment and work (Equal Opportunities, 2006), managerial positions are usually reserved for men coming from the majority cultural group. For example, in a UK organization that subscribes to diversity and inclusive work environments, British men usually hold the top management posts. This may lead one to conclude that managerial careers are gendered and racialised. One explanation for maintaining racialized top management positions may be attributed to fidelity to one’s culture. Hofstede (1994) defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguished the members of one human group from another… Culture, in this sense, includes systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture” (p.19). From this definition, one can perceive how much influence culture has on people. Such a definition is paralleled to ethnocentrism. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines ethnocentrism as "regarding one's own race or ethnic group as of supreme importance" (1989, p. 424). This is common especially when managers think highly of the values and level of skills their racial group upholds. Each member’s effectiveness and efficiency are dependent on social and cultural standards and skills of the group. This narrows down the group’s views to their own culture and discourages them from being ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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