The Impact of Diversity and Demographic Characteristics on Individual Behavior

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Organizational diversity emphasizes achieving equality and opportunity in the work environment through the changing of organizational demographics. Diversity in the workplace emphasizes the appreciation of differences and creates an environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted, however it is individual behavior that determines the workplace environment. There are numerous types of diversity and demographic characteristics that impact on individual behavior.
Values and attitude differences are a key driver of individual behavior. Values and attitude is how a person sees, relates to and acts in and out of the workplace. Psychologist Milton Rokeach has divided values into two categories, terminal values (the goals an individual
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It has long been said that people fear that which they do not understand. This ignorance leads to the perpetuation of irrational beliefs and stereotyping. Employees may be treated less favorably because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. In recent years this irrational fear revolved around the notion that simply being in the same room with a homosexual employee would expose others to AIDS. Through education and employee focus groups companies have been able to dissuade most of these unfounded beliefs.
Finally, the impact of diversity cannot be discussed without looking at the roll gender has played in the workforce over the last several decades. According to the EEOC, in Fiscal Year 2005, 23,094 charges of sex-based discrimination were filed. While studies and innumerable research tell us that there are very few differences between the performance of men and woman the myths persist. Women are perceived to have a higher absentee rate, be too emotional to function as managers, and less analytical in problem solving. It is a common misconception that many professional females got into positions of power by utilizing their flirting skills, and their sexuality to their advantage. Women were put on the backburner in the workplace for many years

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