Workplace diversity refers to the differences among people in an organization. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. Diversity encompasses concepts of race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.
For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively in an organization, HR professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action, and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.
Because of the labour shortage of skilled candidates in Canada, the bio-economy will increasingly rely on demographic groups such as Aboriginal peoples, recent immigrants, persons with disabilities, mature workers, younger workers, and Internationally Educated Professionals to fill positions.
The benefits of investing in diversity:
- Biotechnology companies can attract talent from a pool of highly skilled, specialized and innovative individuals bringing unique knowledge and perspectives.
- Biotechnology companies can rely on individuals with varied backgrounds that can improve decision making and problem solving by bringing different perspectives.
- Biotechnology companies can promote themselves as good places to work and, therefore, contribute to an equitable and progressive sector.
- Biotechnology companies may benefit from having employees with international connections, either to attract and recruit additional talent or create partnerships towards innovation.
Stay logged in to the BioTalent Canada website for information on how your organization can adopt and encourage diversity in the workplace.
HR Microscope July/August 2014