Diversity has been a controversial feature in organizations where governments and organization’s management include minority groups in their workforce. Minority groups include women, people with disabilities and individuals who proclaim their faith to a certain religion among others. Individuals exhibit unique characteristics which are mainly determined by their cultural or social backgrounds. These characteristics include; race, religion, native language, gender, age and physical appearance among others.
Organizations are barred by the law from rejecting the services of an individual on the basis of the above characteristics (Michaels 2007, p69). Diversity in organizations was first developed in America where the president called for a comprehensive recruitment exercise for individuals willing to join the military. Candidates were not to be rejected on the basis of their race, culture and gender among other individual characteristics. A study carried out in the Michigan institute of technology showed that organizations that had a diverse workforce were more productive than those with a common workforce.
Diversified groups of workers are more productive due to the variety of talent available. The different backgrounds of the individual workers enable the company to have access to a wide scope of ideas towards a particular issue. Individuals from different backgrounds view situations differently and thus the management is able to make the best decision to solve a situation. The benefits of a diverse workforce are many and organizations found the need to have a diverse workforce so as to gain a competitive advantage over other organizations in the industry.
Michael (2007, p70) further states that the implementation of diversity initiatives in organizations has been a difficult task due to the broad range of qualities that the management has to consider during the recruitment exercise. The major issues facing the diversity enhancement process are gender and race related. Employment issues in organizations have seen women barred from taking professional positions within organizations as well as members of selected races. This has called for the focus of diversity on the issues that are gender and race related to ensure fairness and equality.
The equal opportunities framework (U. K) provides for equality in the society where individual requirements are identified and the self realization barriers removed. Equality in the society promotes and protects equal freedom, opportunities and choice of individuals living freely. The Equality and Human Rights Commission was established to ensure that equality in the society was maintained so as to ensure a fairer Britain. The commission was given powers to ensure that individuals in the society were treated fairly and were not segregated in the community.
Further the commission was mandated with the ensuring the members of the community understood the Human Rights Act. To ensure equality in the United Kingdom, several legislative acts have been put in place to guide its citizens on diversity issues. The legislative acts include Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Gender Recognition Act 2004 and Race Relations Act 1976 and Amendment Act 2000 among other acts (British Council). These legislative acts guide the relations between the organizations, government agencies and the whole community towards ensuring fair treatment of individuals in the United Kingdom.
The acts improved on social cohesion where little or no violence was reported in neighborhoods where individuals where equal. The impact of the acts is to ensure that individual characteristics do not impose barriers on individuals towards realizing their full potential. This will give the individuals the freedom they require to improve on their productivity and that of the nation. With individuals being able to realize their full potential, the standards of living increase increasing the prosperity of the nation.
Members of the community become empowered in such a way that they can fight for their rights through the law. Individuals become aware of their rights to have their freedom which should not be denied because of their gender or race which do not make them less human (Thomas 2006, p59). The laws allow for their amendment to include extra legislations as times change and modes of operation change. This flexibility will ensure that the freedom of minority individuals is not neglected as the social environment changes.