Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: Issues and Strategies

By George Henderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Introduction
Based on the most reliable studies, America's workplace will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis within the next decade. That is, during the next ten years, our workforce will be reshaped with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, and age. Consider, for example, the projections in the Hudson Institute's ( 1987) Workforce 2000:
Throughout the 1990s, immigrants, women, and minorities will account for 85 percent of the net growth in the labor force.
By the year 2000, women will account for more than 47 percent of the total workforce, and 61 percent of all American women will be employed.
By the end of the 1990s, African Americans will make up 12 percent of the labor force; Hispanics, 10 percent; and Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans, 4 percent. More than 25 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Third World peoples.
By the year 2000, people aged thirty-five to fifty-four will make up 51 percent of the workforce. But those aged sixteen to twenty-four will decline to about 8 percent.

"Managing diversity" is fast becoming the corporate watchword of the decade--not because corporations are becoming kinder and gentler toward culturally diverse groups but because they want to survive ( Edwards, 1991). And in order to survive a growing number of U.S. organizations will have to recruit, train, and promote culturally diverse employees. In essence, this is nothing more than developing additional human resources ( Riche, 1991).

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