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A Diverse Workforce

What is a Diverse Workforce

From a simple perspective a diverse workforce is a workforce made of differences. It is a workforce where employers have chosen the right person for the job regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion or disability. It is also a workplace where differences in employees are valued and respected.

Why is Having a Diverse Workforce Important

A diverse workforce is important because different groups of people offer different skills that help improve an organization’s ability to deliver goods and services, adding value and long term competitive benefits. A diverse workforce better reflects your customers and the community in which you provide your services.

The workforce in Prince Edward Island is changing, there is a decline in the overall population and as people are leaving the workforce more and more job vacancies exist. In order to fill these vacancies employers are relying on an increasing number of women, youth, aboriginals, older workers, immigrants and people with disabilities entering the workforce. Businesses are accommodating the needs of this new workforce by overcoming various challenges and stereotypes. *(Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Managing a Diverse Workforce

A focus of any employer is to help employees reach their full potential. Some key points to consider in managing and maintaining a diverse workforce are:

  • Making sure that information about position openings and developmental opportunities are accessible to all employees.
  • Creating a mentoring program that matches new employees with more experienced workers.
  • Encouraging the development of trusting relationships that will enhance the workplace.
  • Offering diversity training.
  • Providing continuous training.
  • Monitoring office humor to ensure that jokes are not in bad taste.
  • Ensuring that planning of events and schedules is done with recognition of important holidays for people with different ethnic backgrounds and religions.
  • Tracking hiring, pay, development and promotional patterns.
  • Having clear policies and procedures in place.
  • Having an open door policy on diversity issues.
  • Creating an environment that is welcoming and open to differences.
  • Leading by example.
  • Getting feedback from new hires on their experiences within the company and finding out whether they have had any problems or issues.
  • Listening and being flexible.

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