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What sort of vision of a multicultural workforce have you?

What sort of vision of a multicultural workforce have you?

Multiculturalism is about respecting racial, ethnic and cultural differences among people and upholding the right of all to live and work with dignity and to have opportunities to participate fully. Multiculturalism is important because it acknowledges that our society is made up of many different cultures and groups.

The purpose of multiculturalism is to encourage understanding, acceptance, mutual respect and inclusion, in order to make society more equitable for all people. Multiculturalism emphasises bringing people together (i.e. social cohesion), through the development of inclusive organisations. This may mean changing your supervisory/management style, since we cannot expect everyone to be the same or act in the same way. Multiculturalism involves the elimination of racism, which attempts to address the effects of historic, organisational, systemic and attitudinal racism. Racism is acknowledged as a concern in our society and within organisations today

A. Have you a workplace that is:

>> Fair?

>> Inclusive?

>> Celebrates diversity?

>> Creates a genuine sense of belonging for everyone?

>> Equality of opportunity?

>> Free of harassment and discrimination?

B. Have you identified the barriers to achieving this vision?

>> Perceptions of a lower (or different) educational base in different sub-groups?

>> Aggression against ethnic and racial groups?

>> Glass ceiling with low levels of success in promotion and development opportunities?

>> Under representation of minority groups at senior levels?

>> Institutional barriers - part of systems and procedures?

>> Using rhetoric in place of action?

>> Resistance to causing change to the workplace?

C. Current opportunity and push for action:

>> Greater level of commitment and leadership to successfully manage diversity

>> Need to review institutional procedures/racism

>> Legislative changes requiring no discrimination

>> Diversity issues becoming more integral to decision making

>> Business case to attract best available talent

>> Changing public attitudes

>> Greater diversity in the customer base

D. Action. Have you:

>> A policy on diversity?

>> Profile of your workforce?

>> An analysis of your current environment?

>> Taken action as a result of your analysis?

>> Set yourself targets?

>> Educated your workforce and shown minorities in a favourable light?

>> Not settled for tolerance or accommodation, and sought quality constructive interrelationships?

>> What steps have you taken to attract a multicultural workforce?

>> Are you listening to the views of your workers from all groups?

>> Do you celebrate the festivals/feasts of other cultures?

>> Do you share information on different cultures and nationalities?

>> Have you a map on display that marks where people are from?

>> Have you union support, if applicable, for any interventions?

>> Have you translated your employee documents into various official languages?

>> What positive steps you can take to improve the image of minority groups?

>> Building awareness of other nationalities, their culture and the commonality between peoples.

>> Making sure everyone can greet each other with hello/goodbyes in each other's languages.

Remember Racism generally reflects a lack of education and awareness. The business case for and need to get the attitude and vision right for a diverse workforce is a stronger driver rather than law

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Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

Managing Director


C: +27 (0)82 416 7712

T: +27 (0)10 035 4185 (Office)

F: +27 (0)86 689 7862

Website: www.workinfo.com
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