Tips to deal with diversity at work

Demographic change, the global marketplace and greater tolerance for differences are increasing the importance of diversity at the workplace. More women, minorities, and people with different ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles are today entering the workforce. Organizations that do not manage diversity effectively will not be able to utilise the full potential of their workers, nor to survive and grow under increasingly complex and competitive business conditions.

Many barriers continue to restrict the opportunities of diverse groups. These barriers may be from the environment such as discrimination or stereotyping, and from individuals, such as poor career planning or inadequate skill preparation. Both external and internal barriers can be equally detrimental to the advancement of diverse groups. External barriers may be more obvious than internal barriers, but minorities need to carefully assess and identify the barriers they set for themselves and work on resolving them.

Organizations could provide employees with skills for operating in a multi-cultural environment, so that employees can understand their own as well as other cultures, values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and strengths and weaknesses. Training and education can fill a company’s needs in areas such as awareness-building, skill building, helping employees understand the need for valuing diversity, educating employees on specific cultural differences, providing the skills necessary for working in diverse work teams, and providing skills and development activities necessary for diverse groups to do their job and have the opportunity for advancement.

Below are the Q&A session answered by Amit Bansal, CEO of PurpleLeap


James asked, Hi Amit ji, When we have best performance, whom do we need to approach for increments. boss/HR
Amit Bansal answers, Your immediate manager.

john asked, Hi Amit, I am a guy, and my manager is a married man. He had approached me once in an explicit manner, which i refused. after that i have been noticing a very bad behavior from him, he has been discriminating me in hikes, bonuses, promotions and tries to create problems for me. I am under a contract in the company and cant afford to change it. And I am afraid of the embarrassement which i will have to undergo if i complain against his explicit behavior. Please suggest me what to do? I am very depressed.
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest you confide in your company’s HR. It is important that you escalate this.

Ashbel asked, Amit, I have a problem in understanding my colleague. Most of the time he comes across as snobbish and he has few friends in office. I want to get along well with him since we work as a team. What would you suggest I do? I have asked him for a outing post office hours and to share a beer, doesn’t seem to have worked…
Amit Bansal answers, Don’t expect the ice to break in one attempt. Maybe you need to bond with him regularly to understand his personality. However, whatever you do to build rapport with him do not overdo it.

anilmagar asked, Hi Amit, How to deal with a team talking in regional languages most of teh time. Just warning doesnt help. Any popular trick to change people’s for such needs?
Amit Bansal answers, Well the best you can do is ask them to repeat what they said in English. You must constantly ask this until they learn to communicate in a common language.

shruti asked, Hi Amit, is it necessary for colleagues to hang out together after office hours? I have my own set of friends who are different from the ones in office. But my colleagues think I am odd and say snide jokes about me behind my back… What do I do?
Amit Bansal answers, Its not necessary at all to hang out with office colleagues after work.

Revin asked, Hi Amit, I work in a office where all employees are supposed to wear formals on all weekdays. I’ll do that, but why do they have a problem with my hairstyle? Do you think there is some code of business which says people with slightly long hair can’t do serious business?
Amit Bansal answers, Well yes, if your organization has strict guidelines about dressing and grooming then probably long hair are not acceptable. You must check with your HR on this.

Mumtaz asked, Hi Amit, This is Mumtaz here. One of my colleagues is showing undue interest in me. I don’t like it, and I have told him as much. This distraction is not helping me perform well and keeping me on an edge. Do you think I need to inform my superiors? I don’t want the other person to loose his job also.. just to keep off me.
Amit Bansal answers, I think you must inform your superiors about it. I hope the person knows that if it becomes an HR issue he may even lose his job.

deepak asked, hi amit, do you think HR managers discriminate on the basis of language?? i find many of my friends agreeing to that during job interviews. how can one skip that question?
Amit Bansal answers, As far as language is concerned the only reason why HR managers may consider this aspect with respect of your fluency if the job requires you to speak in good english. Otherwise I do not see a reason why the HR managers would discriminate anyone.

mamu asked, Dear Amit, I am from the nroth east adn face discrimination at work. Please tell me how to deal with it.
Amit Bansal answers, I think you must bring it to the notice of your immediate manager. Along with talking face to face also ensure you put this on email along with any instances when such discrimination was done.


Chat Date: May 2, 2012




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