The Importance of Understanding Cultural, Ethnic, and Gender Differences by Managers and Professionals in a Business Setting

Length: 4 Pages 984 Words

Diversity in the American workplace is very important but corporate culture in this country works against women and minorities to a certain extent (Tannen, 1995). The conversational styles that most women use tend to be less popular with businesses and corporations than the conversational styles that men use. Because of this, women are often overlooked for promotions, are seen as less confident, and are not considered as worthwhile when it comes to individuals giving their ideas and helping out with teamwork. Much of this comes from childhood when little girls were taught to be nice to other individuals and help to downplay their weaknesses, while little boys were taught to play up the weaknesses of other individuals and claim strength and domination if they were able (Tannen, 1995; Adams & Galanges, 2005). Individuals who come from one part of the country to another also face this and some men who lack a great deal of self-confidence and are not willing to speak up are also treated as though they are weak. Because of this, many women are overlooked for promotions and other issues in which they are extremely well-qualified but it is not believed that they are confident enough to do the job due to the fact that they do not s Continue...


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People all have different ideas of how things should be done, and when those ideas clash on a particular project, conflict is born. Differing backgrounds make for differing opinions (Pelled, et. This dislike of others in the group (or possibly one specific person in the group) often comes about for the same reasons that task conflict appears. Having people who are different from one another helps to avoid 'groupthink' and contributes to in-depth discussions and better ideas than could be found in a group where the participants were basically all alike. It was not long ago that organizational decision making groups could be expected to be comprised almost exclusively of white males, since this was the majority of the white-collar work force. Sometimes, this conflict cannot be avoided, but it can work to an organization's advantage in certain circumstances, and is often desired as a basis for making decisions. There are differences in backgrounds and demographics between all people, but sometimes a difference bothers a particular person more than it would bother someone else. The goal is to get the right mix of ideas, attitudes, and opinions so that individuals can agree to disagree but still go on to get the job done. This is largely due to the greater number of diverse and conflicting viewpoints. It may be because of their race or background, but it could also be because of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or hundreds of other things. Women are not the only ones having difficulty, however. Conflict is common within many organizations, and the larger they are the more potential they have for conflict.

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