The Problem The term “diversity” is commonly used in reference to the various types of nationalities, races and religions.
However, when the term diversity is used in the business world, it does not refer to any of these, but pertains to the different individual behaviors of employees. Diversity in the business world relates to the characteristics and demographics of individual employees, and how these affect human behavior and performance in the workplace. There are several different types of diversity, including diversity in skill and abilities, values and attitudes and work habits.
Studies show that diversity in the workplace is beneficial for most companies, as the different perspectives and skill sets that result from a diverse workforce enable companies to serve a broader customer clientele. Traditionally, sports management firms such as yours have employed mostly white males. However, in today’s rapidly developing society, more and more women are pursuing careers in the sports management industry. This change may be attributed to criticisms that women are grossly under represented in competitive and professional sports.
It may also be attributed to the realization that good sports management entails solid sales, marketing and interpersonal skills, areas in which many women excel academically and professionally. Today, both male and female athletes seek out female managers, who are noted for their dedication and the personal attention with which they tend to provide their athletes. Despite the obvious benefits of having a diverse workforce, your company still employs mostly white males. This uniformity in employees puts your company at a serious disadvantage, as your competitors and the leading sports management firms have already taken steps to attract more women employees. The homogeneity of your company’s workforce results in output made by gender limited skills and perspectives, and restricts the choice of managers of both prospective and current athlete clients.
This lack of diversity only serves to limit both the marketability of your company, and the quality of work produced by the current employees. In order to immediately address this problem, an in-depth study of your company was conducted. This study sought to find the cause of the gender uniformity in your workforce. Based on the results of the study, the following are proposed modifications to your company’s human resource management practices.The Proposed Solution and Possible Criticms The study attributed the lack of women in your company’s workforce to the following: limited employee recruitment and hiring practices, lack of gender specific benefits available to employees, and gender biased attitudes of current employees and clientele. In order to guarantee diversity among the employees, a minimum quota of prospective female employees should be imposed. This company policy is likely to be very controversial. Critics will claim that this policy will actually reduce the quality of employees, as new hires will be made based on gender and not necessarily based on skill.
Because of this there will be a fear that many qualified prospective male employees will be overlooked, as they lack the necessary gender qualification. However, these claims will be unfounded, as the proposed modification in no way seeks to sacrifice the quality of new employees in order to encourage gender diversity. This is because the proposed modification requires a minimum quota of prospective female employees, not a minimum quota of actual female employees.
The hiring process can be simplified to the following process: public notification of job opening, acceptance of applications, screening of applications, creation of a short list, interviews and finally job offers. The proposed modification affects both the public notification of job opening and the creation of a short list. The proposed measure is to mandate a minimum quota for female applicants placed on the short list. In doing so, the human resources department will be given the opportunity to consider gender diverse applicants, and will be able to assess which applicant is best suited for the job. This measure in no way requires the hiring of women, but instead, seeks to guarantee that qualified women are guaranteed to the opportunity to be hired by the firm based on their personal merit. In order to implement the measure discussed above, it will be necessary to philosophically support the mangers hiring the new employees, as well as to change recruitment strategies for prospective employees. One of the ways to encourage qualified women applicants to apply at your company is to reach out to these women. This can be done is during the hiring phase involving the public notification of job openings.
Currently, the public is notified of openings in the company via newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as through the internet. In order to attract more women applicants, these ads should be placed in women’s magazines and on women’s forums online. This is because many qualified women are reluctant to enter the field of sports management because they are afraid of gender discrimination.
By making sure that more women are aware of the availability of work at your company, it is likely that more qualified women will apply. The second proposed modification addresses the lack of gender specific benefits available to women employees. Your company currently provides women with the minimum maternity leave benefits required by law. The proposed modification would expand maternity leave benefits, and proposes a new company policy under which women would be allowed to keep more flexible work hours for one year after they give birth. This proposed company policy is also likely to be controversial. Critics will claim that the policy may serve to attract and motivate women employees, but will concurrently serve to demotivate male employees, as the benefits will not be made available to them.
In response to such criticism, the reason for the proposed policy must always be remembered. The nature of jobs in the sports management industry often deters qualified women from applying for jobs. Sports management is a full-time commitment. As such, women who are starting families are often reluctant to apply because they fear their job will leave them with insufficient time for their children and families. By providing women with maternity benefits beyond what is required by law, and by allowing women with newborn children to work at flexible hours, the company will be supporting women employees and their family needs. In order to avoid reverse gender discrimination, male employees with newborn children will also be given the opportunity to avail of these proposed benefits.
However, management must take measures to ensure that the proposed measures are not subject to abuse. In other words, management must not blindly excuse tardiness or allow people to leave early without ensuring that the flexible hours are indeed being used for family related concerns. The third proposed modification is to provide more philosophical support to company managers. Studies show that philosophical support of top managers leads to the development of substantive human resource management programs that promote gender equality in sport management and greater female manager representation. Company managers are responsible for providing support for women employees who may be subject to gender discrimination by in the workplace and by their clients. Company managers are also capable of assessing the existence of such discrimination in the work place, and have the ability to take measures to ensure that newly hired women are integrated into the company workforce. Thus, company managers should be sent to seminars that teach them to manage gender discrimination in the workplace, and also to seminars that teach them to handle and provide support for women who are victims of work related gender discrimination.
In providing these managers with support, and by allowing these managers to understand that the creation of a more diverse workforce is one your company’s priorities, these managers will be empowered to raise any concerns women may have in the workplace, and these managers will be better educated and equipped to provide a work environment conducive to men and women alike.Conclusion Diversity in the workforce has several benefits, as the different characteristics of employees produce a variety of perspectives and bring a myriad of skills to the workforce, thereby producing a higher quality output. Traditionally, the sports management industry was very male dominated. However, due to recent developments and realizations, more and more women are seeking careers in sports management. In order to remain competitive, your company needs to adopt measures to attract prospective women employees, to encourage gender diversity in the workforce, and to ensure the protection of current and prospective women employees from gender discrimination. These proposed modifications include measures that seek to improve hiring methods and employee benefits. They also propose greater support for company managers, in order to better equip them to deal with any gender discrimination that may result from a more gender diverse workforce.
These changes, should they be implemented, will only result in a greater diversity of employees, but will also create a more qualified and dynamic group of individuals who are inspired and dedicated to fulfilling the needs of your company and your clientele.References:Bryson, Lois. “Sport and the Oppression of Women.” Journal of Sociology 19.3 (1983): 413-426.Carvalho, Ana, Cabral-Cardoso, and Carlos.
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