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Diversity in the workplace in Singapore. 'Surface-level diversity' and 'Deep-level diversity' - Essay Example

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Diversity has been studied at various levels and with respect to various aspects. In order to simplify the concept of diversity, it has been categorized into two fundamental types i.e. surface-level diversity and deep-level diversity, with the former indicating the apparent factors like age and gender…
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Diversity in the workplace in Singapore. Surface-level diversity and Deep-level diversity
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"Diversity in the workplace in Singapore. 'Surface-level diversity' and 'Deep-level diversity'"

Download file to see previous pages Diversity is used as an umbrella term to represent the dissimilarity of the individuals that make a team on the basis of their individualistic characteristics (Jackson, 1992). Surface-level diversity has been referred to as visible (Pelled, 1996) and demographic (Williams and O’Reilly, 1998) and is conventionally understood as inclusive of such variables as gender, ethnic origin and age (Harrison et al., 2002; Lawrence, 1997; Tsui et al., 1995). Denying demographic attributes is cumbersome, though people may find several ways to categorize themselves. Deep-level diversity, on the other hand, reflects a disparity of characteristics that are not apparently noticeable. Such characteristics include but are not limited to viewpoint, ideology, extremism and connectedness. Managers need to have a fair understanding of both in order to deal with the frequently arising problems in the contemporary workplace.

With the rapid expansion of economies over the last twenty years, diversity and inclusion have become factors of extreme significance in many Asian countries including Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. Increased workforce diversity in these countries can fundamentally be attributed to the fact that more women enjoy management positions in organizations in these countries as compared to the trend in US or Europe. According to 20-First (n.d.), Singapore’s share of women senior managers is the maximum among all Asian nations. In their research, Dimovski, Skerlavaj, and Man (2010) examined if growth of women managers in the organizations of Singapore are restrained by a glass ceiling. The term “glass ceiling” is a “well enshrined phenomenon supported by conclusive evidence” (Simpson and Atlman, 2003). Dimovski, Skerlavaj, and Man (2010) studied the perceptions of female mid-level managers in Singapore regarding whether or not they have to deal with a glass ceiling in the workplace with respect to corporate climate, corporate culture and the general practices. Dimovski, Skerlavaj, and Man (2010) concluded that the promotion of female managers in the Singapore organizations is inhibited. Female mid-level managers expressed lack of development opportunities including initiatives that are family-friendly, mentoring and networking. 32.5 per cent of the respondents said they had encountered the invisible women syndrome in the workplace and 37.5 per cent women managers said that the judgment of their work performance was unfair. 35 per cent respondents of these respondents said that the organization in which they worked valued diversity and had a corporate climate. Women expressed dissatisfaction for the organizational practices and culture in place and rendered them generally unsupportive for them. Despite this, when so many women express dissatisfaction towards the work environment, it means much needs to be done in order to address the concerns of surface-level diversity and deep-level diversity. A lot of women managers in Singapore are still caught in the issues of sexual harassment and intellectual underestimation. Surface-level diversity is visualized as a potential threat by many local workers of Singapore because of the managers’ biased behavior in favor of the foreign workers in general and the Chinese workers in particular. Singapore has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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