Workplace Diversity and Multiculturalism
Workplace diversity is a phrase that is used to describe the differences that exist in an organization. These differences could be with regards to race, gender, educational background, ethnicity and others. In short, a diverse workforce ids one in which there are numerous differences between its members (Paige 24). There is the meaning of diversity, as a characteristic in an individual. A diverse individual, in terms of their mind, does not include self-perception, only. It also includes how an individual views others. Multiculturalism refers to the existence of people from different cultures in a single organization. In some cases, these are two factors that could cause problems and lack of coordination in an organization (Daft 340). However, effective management ensures that they work for the best interests of the company. This essay has discussed the two, with regards to the fashion industry.
In a fashion company, the structure, as well as the development is affected by the diversity and multiculturalism. First, there is the allocation of duties, for the employees. One of the biggest problems that may occur in such a workforce is the lack of coordination. This problem has to be eliminated by ensuring that the workers from the different backgrounds are placed together. This means that the company shuffles their employees and ensures that each of them is in a position, in which they can, easily, access the skills of each other (Browaeys 83). This achieves two major things in the organization. First, it ensures that the workers are able to sharpen each other. Each of the workers is placed in a position whereby, they can learn the activities and the skills of the others. The other advantage is that it forces the employees to work together (Dhingra 126). When they are put in the same sectors of the company, they know that they cannot be alienated from each other (Dhingra 126). The fashion industry is one that can use most of the views that the employees could be having. For this reason, it can be concluded that diversity in the workforce, largely affects the structure of the fashion company.
The other way in which diversity affects a company in the fashion industry, is with regards to its development. First, the working of individuals, as a team, is not something that they can just learn on their own. However, this has to happen, if the company is to be successful (Ellen, and Loewy 329). Therefore, the achievement of cohesion in the workforce can be considered as a step in the development of a company. Training is the major activity that is applied here, to ensure that all the workers know what they are up against. First, the training lets them know that the workforce is not diverse by accident (Martin, and Thomas 67). The fashion company makes it known to all the workers that they planned the diversity and it is what will, majorly, contribute to the success of the organization. Then, they are given rules that they should follow to ensure that they, always, work as a team (Ferraro 54).
Some of these rules are to protect evils that may be done on people, just because they are different from the others. The other way through which diversity affects the structure of the fashion company is in the development of a code of ethics. Considering all the employees in the organization, they have to come up with a hybrid code of conduct that does not violate any of the rules or make any member of the labor force feel like they have been left on their own. In addition, this company puts a lot of emphasis on the unity of the company. They remind them that they are in the company for the same reason. Therefore, they should strive to work towards common goals (Luthans, and Doh 34). When the management has been conducted in the right way, the company is able to achieve competitiveness that is desired by others in the industry. However, the lack of proper management ensures that the diverse workforce is a negative aspect of the company.
Pros and Cons
The performance of an organization is positively, as well as negatively affected by the diversity it has achieved. In this, the advantages will be reviewed, first. In the fashion industry, there is a great bit of innovativeness that is required. When the workforce is innovative, it becomes easier to achieve the diversity that they may require in their company. Innovativeness, for the end result of having different tastes represented in the products can be replaced by diversity in the workforce. The fact that they are from different backgrounds ensures that they have different views on the products (Nickson 87). For example, if a certain good, such as a handbag, is being produced in the company, the people from the different cultures help to ensure that there are different incorporations into the products. This is by making their individual contributions to ensure that they are able to incorporate the different views and components to this product. The result is that the product is able to develop a wide market. This is because it has incorporated most of the needs and designs that a consumer from any part of the world could require. However, diversity can only achieve this end result if it is managed well ( Pynes Chapter 2).
The other way in which diversity affects the structure of an organization is in the solution of problems. In a normal organizational setup, problems may be solved in a certain, repeated way, which may be bound to fail, at times. However, this is not the same for a diverse workforce. This is because the employees come to the fashion company with different experiences, from their different backgrounds. The exposure that each of them has received is brought together and a hybrid workforce is developed (Scouller 23). A perfect example of a problem is fluctuating markets. The reduction in the purchases of a fashion company may require the input of the employees, if the company is to understand it well. This is because they use a different eye, from that of the management. Therefore, different problems can be solved by different employees. They are also responsible for informing the company about the consumer demands. This is because the employees represent the consumers from the backgrounds and origins from which they come.
In addition to the above mentioned factors, a diverse workforce is able to provide a large range of viewpoints to the managers. This means that the development of ideas from the employees is very helpful to the company. The reason is that most of these employees have been exposed to different conditions, throughout their lifetime. An ideal example is the production of a dress to set fashion trends. Different employees can add incorporations to the dresses to ensure that they are attractive to a wide range of characteristics and originalities, in terms of the consumers (Scouller 27). Therefore, they have different ways through which they looks at things. Consumer needs and the alignment of business strategies can be based on these different ideas. Apart from development of ideas and the exchange of viewpoints, the execution is, also, an important part of the fashion industry. This is because it determines the final product that the company is able to offer to their consumers (Luthans, and Doh 61). When companies encourage diversity, all their employees conduct their duties in the best way possible. This allows them to obtain more profit and higher returns for every investment, especially in labor.
Apart from these advantages, there are some cons that can be mentioned in a diverse organization. First, the cohesion that is needed in a company is hard to achieve. It requires quite an investment to ensure that the employees are enlightened on the need to work together and work towards a common goal (Daft 334). At the beginning, most of the employees do not understand each other’s lifestyles. Some of them collide because of their culture. Soon, some competition develops in the workplace, as each set of workers try to advocate for their group to be heard. This competition can, easily hinder development in the company. As a matter of fact, it caused a breakdown in the production process, something that can be disastrous to a fashion company. As it is well known, fashion is, mainly, dependent on details and the smallest things that can be used in ensuring that the attention of consumers is attracted. In addition, there are some workers who may have come from communities that are marginalized. These are communities that may have been left out in terms of education or allocation of resources (Ferraro 33). However, these employees may be having the talent to conduct the duties with which they have been entrusted by the company (Ferraro 42). In some cases, these employees feel out of place. One may argue that the other employees may, make them feel at home. However, the truth of the matter is that in a diverse workforce, everyone is trying to fill in. therefore, there may be few employees that may be willing to increase the comfort of one employee. Due to this fact, the employee may lose the psych and morale required to reach their potential, a fact that may lead to massive loss of confidence (Paige 74). In the end, the productivity of the company is affected, along with the profit margins, as well as the returns on investment. These are, just, a few of the disadvantages that can be mentioned for diversity in a fashion company.
There are some examples of companies in the fashion industries that have always ensured diversity in their structure. One of these companies is Gucci. This is a company that deals with fashion products, such as sweatshirts, shoes, hand bags and others. One of the factors that have caused this company to be successful is the fact that they sold their brand to the world, long ago. However, the diversity that they have shown reflects in their products ( Pynes, chapter 4). Sometime in the past, they did not produce goods such as handbags and earrings. However, they are in the habit of acquiring labor from people all around the world. For this reason, they are able to put their name on other products, which have been developed by the use of a wide range of ideas from their workforce. The other fashion company is Luis Vuitton. This company has ensured diversity, especially in the advertisement of their products. The use of a particular example makes the description easier. The dresses they produce come in different designs, shapes, sizes and other specifications. These factors are guided by the input of their employees, who come from all around the world. Ion their advertisements, they show their dresses by the use of women from all races, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds (Martin, and Thomas 72). Therefore, they are able to obtain the attention of most consumers in the industry. This shows how effective diversity can be of help to a company in the fashion industry.
From the essay above, it is clear that diversity is one of the most important aspects of companies in the fashion industry. It is what ensures that companies are able to deal with most of their problems. In the fashion industry, there are numerous changes that are occurring, every day. In addition, incorporations are being made into products, following the introduction of new communities to the fashion industry. In order to cope with this, there is a need for these companies to acquire workers that have different experiences and backgrounds. This ensures that most of their problems are easy to solve.