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Homework answers / question archive / Subject 2 – DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT - 2 questions QUESTION 3 Critically discuss the extent to which the Equal Opportunities approach to diversity management is adequate in accomplishing equality and diversity goals at work

Subject 2 – DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT - 2 questions QUESTION 3 Critically discuss the extent to which the Equal Opportunities approach to diversity management is adequate in accomplishing equality and diversity goals at work

Sociology

Subject 2 – DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT - 2 questions

QUESTION 3 Critically discuss the extent to which the Equal Opportunities approach to diversity management is adequate in accomplishing equality and diversity goals at work. Answer Guide for Question 3: A good answer will recognise that the question only refers to one of the two approaches to diversity and will introduce the two distinct approaches, stating their different philosophies, a main one being that Equal Opportunities (EO) focuses on group differences and Managing Diversity (MD) approaches typically focus on individual differences, although some MD approaches are closer to traditional EO than others. The answer needs to highlight the weaknesses of EO approach and must suggest an MD approach can address such weaknesses. Then a good answer will go on to present a critical discussion on whether Managing Diversity is fundamentally different from the Equal Opportunities approach or just a new ‘buzz word’ will be presented. Liff’s model of Managing Diversity will be presented, stating where the emphasis of each of the four categories lies. Students could give examples corresponding to each of the areas, for e.g. a MD approach would entail a more inclusive culture where opportunities and training are open to everyone whereas an EO approach could entail having training for women, open days for minorities etc (positive action).

QUESTION 4 Critically evaluate the statement that ‘ethnic minority women often live in two worlds: a white world at work and their personal world at home’. ANSWER GUIDELINESA good answer would include a discussion around the issues ethnic minority women (emw) may face in society and employment, paying particular attention to the aggregated effects of discrimination by being both women and from an ethnic minority group. There should be an acknowledgement that ethnic minority women should not be seen as a group versus white women for example and that there can be great diversity amongst different groups of minority women in terms of culture, language, nationality, religion etc. There should also be a demonstration of understanding that not all women of a specific ethnic group need to demonstrate similar behaviours and have similar values, for e.g. not all Muslim women would be strongly affiliated to their religion, wear the hijab etc. A discussion should follow on the key aspects of the question, discussing how emw often face conflicting expectations at work and at home which requires them to behave in different manners. A discussion on family and cultural/religious responsibilities could follow, making the argument that these responsibilities may contradict organisational expectations, i.e. wanting staff to be available and present, wanting full commitment (but with a gendered and possible racialised approach to what commitment is etc). Organisations need to recognise these tensions and if they genuinely make the effort to attract the best people for the job, they should focus on a real fundamental shake up and restructuring of their organisational structures and cultures, instead of assuming and expecting women and all minority groups to ‘fit in’. A discussion on ‘suitability versus acceptability’ could add to the quality of the answer. A good point to make is that all women (and men) live in two worlds, but there are specific issues that could exacerbate the situation for ethnic minority women, especially if they have close affiliations to their culture, religion etc.

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