Diversity in the Workplace

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What argument can be made to say that workforce diversity should not be as important as it has become?

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This is a very difficult argument to make.  Workplace diversity is clearly important both on an ethical level and on an economic level.  A firm that ignores diversity is likely to lose potential employees and even potential customers, thereby hurting itself economically.  In addition, it is simply unethical to treat minorities and women in unequal ways in the workplace.  However, it is at least possible to argue that there is too much of a focus on workplace diversity.  Let us examine two possible arguments.

One argument that can be made is that the focus on diversity ends up causing firms to waste money.  The firms want to be seen as progressive when it comes to issues of diversity and so they do things like hiring consultants to conduct diversity training sessions.  These sessions may not be of high quality.  If they are not, they simply waste the firm’s money without providing any tangible benefit.  In this view, the focus on workplace diversity leads to the proliferation of diversity consultants, which inevitably means that some consultants will be of low quality.

A second argument that can be made is that the emphasis on workplace diversity is bad for morale in the company.  We can argue that a focus on diversity encourages workers to focus on the things that make them different instead of on the things that make them similar.  We can also argue that a focus on diversity makes employees too worried about being perceived as racist or sexist.  This might take away from their ability to be honest with coworkers.  From this point of view, the focus on diversity hurts workplace morale and lowers the likelihood that workers will interact with one another on a “natural” and equal level.

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