Employee Diversity in a South African Context

Principles of Management IIA


Employee Diversity in a South African Context

03 May 2011

Student Name: MC Mabhele
Student Number: 0218076W

Word Count :  

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 3
2. What is Workplace Diversity? 4
3. Managerial roles that are necessary to effectively manage diversity 5
4. Benefits of Diversity Management 7
5. The role of ethical management within the realm of diversity 8
6. Innovative ideas to manage diversity 9
7. Conclusion 15
8. References 16

1. Introduction

In the South African context, workplace diversity is synonymous with multiculturalism, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. Although these concepts are now being articulated by government, business and trade unions alike, for many years they were the sole preserve of those organizations subscribing to the various codes of conduct (such as the Sullivan Principles) as well as enlightened employers resisting apartheid oppression. Thus, although the debate about these concepts is just beginning in earnest, academic research and practical experience was gained during the time of the apartheid regime which, in turn, is informing the implementation of affirmative action and managing diversity programmes in a new era.
This experience is made all the more important by the fact that affirmative action and the management of diversity in South Africa do not constitute tools to facilitate the entry of minorities into the mainstream of organizational life. In South Africa, for many years, the majority of the population has been denied access to education, jobs and opportunities through a process of rigorous discrimination. Some observers argue that black and female advancement and empowerment will now take place naturally and that an inexorable drift towards equality of opportunity is inevitable. Given both the experience of other African countries, such as Zimbabwe and Namibia, as well as statistics relating to social...