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Managing Diversity in the Workplace

What are the glass ceiling, glass walls, and the glass escalator and what are their effects on those who are constrained by them?

Usually, a glass ceiling is a form of limitation to prevent the upscale of a person to higher positions, based on unfair and discriminatory grounds such as sex or race. The glass ceiling effect has the capability of limiting certain individuals (especially from minority groups) from securing prestigious positions and therefore they are limited from making executive decisions or economically empowering themselves. In other words, victims of the glass ceiling effect continue to remain subjects to other people.

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A glass escalator is much to the contrary of the glass ceiling because it refers to the unusual escalation of a person to a higher position or rank. Normally, most instances of glass escalators are noted in organizations where men get preferential treatment at the expense of women. The glass escalator effect leads to the empowerment of a specific group of people, say, men, in an organization, while another group remains subjects to them.

Notably, the glass escalator has a damning effect of reducing competency levels among the people affected because many do not believe that they will be rewarded for their genuine efforts aimed at standing out above the rest. A glass wall, on the other hand, refers to the prevention of sideward movement of an individual, say, within a department, while other people easily move (sideways) in the same conditions. This effect has the capability of reducing a person’s experience at handling several issues at the same time. In other words, it leads to the inefficiency of the human workforce.

What are some effects of sex segregation, sex discrimination, and sexual harassment on women’s careers?

Sex segregation leads to social inequalities, in the sense that, a given gender is perceived to be superior to another, and the other, a subject of the former. Sex discrimination leads to the unequal distribution of resources and the limitation of available opportunities for social, economic, or political progression. For example, sexual discrimination was practiced hundreds of years ago and it greatly limited the opportunities women could get to advance in fields such as education or politics.

Sexual harassment almost has the same effect as sexual discrimination or segregation because it leads to a compromise of ethical practices in the organization, but most importantly, it leads to social discord and instability. For example, if a woman has to compromise her moral principles to keep her job, she may eventually destabilize her family’s cohesion.

What is the “stained glass ceiling”? How is the “stained glass ceiling” similar to and different from the regular “glass ceiling?” Explain.

The stained glass ceiling concept is normally applied in the church context, as opposed to the normal glass ceiling which is applied in the workplace. The stained glass ceiling refers to certain levels of authority that women cannot overcome in the church’s ladder of hierarchy. However, it is similar to the normal glass ceiling in that, it defines the prevention of a person from scaling up the hierarchical ladder.

What should employers do when appearance requirements conflict with employees’ religious requirements?

In situations where appearance requirements conflict with religious requirements, it would be best for employers to talk to an employee to change his or her conduct to suit the organizational norms. This should be done subtly so that the employee does not feel like his or her individual rights are infringed on.

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Discuss the provisions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

The age discrimination employment act protects older people, above the age of 40, from any form of discrimination by employers when seeking employment positions. From a broader point of view, the act protects citizens above the age of 40 from being unfairly treated when it comes to issues concerning hiring, termination of employment, and promotion.

Why is “age diversity” an issue for everyone?

Age diversity is an issue because everyone has the right to seek gainful employment, and therefore, establishing age limits mean denying an individual the right to make a living. Moreover, age diversity must be adopted to make everyone equal because no person is more human than another.

Explain the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with disability act prohibit employers from discriminating against disabled individuals, based on their disability status. The exclusionary criterion defined in this act includes mental and physical impairment. However, conditions such as drug abuse and visual impairment (which can be rectified through medical means) are excluded from the act and therefore employers can exercise their freedom here.

What can be done to alleviate misperceptions about the performance of people with disabilities?

Educating the people about the nature of different disabilities will go a long way to make them understand that, people with disabilities are not unable to carry out normal duties ordinary people do.

Explain the provisions of the FMLA

FMLA provides that an employee can easily take unpaid employment leave for medical or family reasons without being punished or terminated from employment as a result. Moreover, the provision also entitles employees to health insurance as if they did not take leave at all.

What measures can organizations take to help workers deal with work and family needs and why might organizations be interested in taking those measures?

Organizations can develop programs like family health insurance, health policies, and such programs to ensure their workforce has some sense of family security. This is important because family issues affect worker performance and consequently, an organization’s productivity

What are the employment and income-related effects of being overweight for women? For men?

Men and women experience the same effects of being overweight when analyzed in an organizational context. One major effect may be the inclusion of high premiums in their health insurance schemes because they have a higher chance of suffering from weight-related conditions. Their income is however not affected by their weight status because income is normally determined by job description.

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What is the perceived relationship between weight and appearance?

Though there may be some exceptions, less overweight people are generally perceived as more attractive than overweight persons. This is because society frowns upon overweight people as opposed to less overweight people.

Discuss similarities and differences between sexual minorities and other

Non-dominant group members

Sexual minorities are normally treated worse than non-dominant minority groups because they are normally perceived as unnatural beings that have a high ethical price. However, even though the plight of non-dominant group members is highly fragmented, these groups are normally seen as normal human beings, only that they are not like the majority. Moreover, they do not come with a high ethical price. The two groups however share some similarities, because they are normally subject to unfair treatment (in the organizational context or otherwise) from the majority groups.

How might one reconcile strongly held religious beliefs about homosexuality with an organization’s posture on nondiscrimination against sexual minorities?

To reconcile religious beliefs and organizational posture, an individual must acknowledge that when in the organization, it is important to behave professionally and conform to organizational principles. This means that socially, it is okay to uphold one’s religious beliefs about other people, but in the organizational context, it is important to conform to the organization’s posture concerning sexual minorities.

Why are diversity issues particularly important in the United States?

Diversity issues are important in the US because of the level of democracy the US enjoys. In other words, it is within the spirit of democracy and liberty that everyone is allowed to be oneself without any glass ceilings, glass walls, or glass escalators.

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