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Workplace Diversity

The Top Five Myths of Workplace Diversity Programs

Feb 07, 2013

Diversity Programs: They’re Kind of a Big Deal

Chances are that you work for an organization that promotes workplace diversity through training and programs. At the very least, you have probably read a paragraph or two on diversity benefits in the employee handbook. You may ask yourself, “What’s the big deal about diversity anyway?”

The truth is many employees, employers and even HR practitioners do not understand the need for workplace diversity training programs beyond a legal formality. There are many myths associated with diversity programs in the workplace; it is our job to debunk these myths so that your organization may truly begin to thrive from such diversity programs.

Myth 1: Diversity Programs are only good for being “politically correct”.

On the contrary, diversity benefits  are much more than just “political correctness”. Diversity programs are an opportunity to separate your organization from competition. A diverse workforce attracts a wider and larger array of clients, because people feel most comfortable doing business with a company that they believe reflects themselves. Additionally, an honest effort for diversity, inclusion and acceptance in the workplace creates a culture of respect, which in turn protects an organization from costly turnovers.

Myth 2: Diversity Programs are just another form of Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action.

There are many intrinsic differences between EEO/AA and diversity programs. While EEO/AA are government-initiated, workplace diversity programs are voluntary and driven solely by the company. Another difference is that EEO/AA is reactive, while Diversity Programs are proactive; diversity focuses on future opportunities, rather than proven problems.

Myth 3: Diversity is the HR department’s responsibility only.

No, workplace diversity is the responsibility of everyone within any organization. Diversity benefits  are only possible through the efforts of managers, supervisors and employees, along with HR personnel. Diversity training explains the responsibility of everyone within a workforce when it comes to diversity.

Myth 4: Promoting diversity doesn’t prevent discrimination.

Promoting diversity within the workplace actually tremendously prevents discrimination. Again, an effort for diversity and inclusion creates a culture of respect. Discrimination is highly unlikely in a workplace culture that values respect enough to promote diversity. Diversity programs not only explain differences, they teach how to embrace variety. Embraced differences result in a lack of discrimination.

Myth 5: Diversity training is unnecessary.

Proper diversity training is absolutely necessary, as it is the only way to ensure maximum diversity benefits for your organization. Workplace Answer’s diversity training teaches everything from uncovering implicit bias, to respect and inclusion, to leading a diverse organization.

It’s important to remember that diversity benefits are far-reaching. Diversity programs create a workplace culture of respect that prevents discrimination and increases an organization’s bottom line. Now that the myths have been debunked and the truth about diversity programs have been revealed, it’s time to put this valuable information to work.


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