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AJT | Workplace Diversity

The face of today’s market has changed dramatically. The world of accounting, for example, is no longer dominated by the “company man”. Instead we are seeing a vast influx of diverse candidates bringing their skills to the table, and the increase of opportunities for these employees is proving to be a positive change as new ideas and work strategies become more commonplace.

What defines diversity in the workplace? Traditionally diversity is described as variety, or a point or respect in which things differ. Diversity in a workplace incorporates a long list of variances among employees, such as: race, age, sexual orientation, religion, culture, gender, physical appearance, education, national or regional origin, and even thinking style. Unfortunately corporate culture and society at large have often been guilty of valuing only the most marginal span of differences. Yet while the remaining range of variances might have been overlooked in the past, acceptance of their importance and subsequent impact on the operation of an organization has again brought this issue to the forefront.

Managing this diversity requires embracement of these differences, creating an environment where all opinions are valued and every employee can develop to their full potential; encouraging variety allows the business to get the most out of every employee. Companies that effectively promote diversity recognize that it is not enough to hire employees from assorted minority groups, but they must also sustain an atmosphere where all personnel are supported and appreciated.

Recognizing that less represented people, races, voices, or cultures have as much integrity and as many valid opinions and ideas as the common majority is a critical first step in assigning diversity its proper value. This leads to other ways of problem solving, formulating new ideas, and working together, all of which can be indispensable commodities in today’s work environment.


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