Diversity is not only in terms of caste, religion but also in other demographic factors such as age, education, gender etc. Here our focus and main concern is age and gender diversity and we strive to find out to what extent are they beneficial or a source of conflict among the organizations.
Previously women were not a major part of the workforce, but now the trends have been changing, more and more women are entering the workforce. Acceptance of women is becoming the norm and myths such as women value family more than careers is also fast eroding. Similarly, young graduates are also entering the workforce thus sometimes replacing and at others working under the more experienced person, a myth about these younger people is that they lack commitment.
In Australia the facts suggest the same; the population trends are changing and studies also show that the population is ageing and it is predicted that by 2051 around 25% of Australia's population will be aged 65 year or older; and also the number of women in the workforce has increased from 40% in 1979 to 53% in 2004.1
For companies to prosper and create a positive cultural climate they need to strike a balance between young and mature and also the male and female counterparts in the organization. To manage gender differences firstly, the acceptability levels of the women in workforce should be enhanced, besides policies in the organizations should be supportive of women and in their favor; some steps that are taken and should be taken by the companies is that women should be provided equal opportunity as men, there should be laws against bullying, unlawful harassment, career leave and parental leaves for women in times of dire need. Career development programs like men should also include women to develop and focus themselves on the path to progression and move up the organizational ladder.
When managing the age diversity i.e. attaining a balance between younger and mature employees, one major factor is giving and taking respect. It should be realized that younger generation takes the organization forward, by providing new and latest views of changing trends and brings young ideas that are more creative; but on the other hand older employees also have their experiences that are far more important in running the organization and is important in keeping the strong cultural bond developed over the years in the organization intact. Older employees should not be replaced by younger employees but should be provided with opportunity in terms of flexibility to serve the organization as it fits with their changing lifestyle which is a requirement for their old age. Besides, they should also always be available to mentor and share their experiences with their juniors.
Some Australian companies were observed to be working on areas such as embedding diversity into key employment policies and programs to advance equitable outcomes for women. They are striving to achieve a 95% agreement rate from their female survey respondents that their immediate supervisor genuinely supports equal opportunity by random sampling. The companies have already. Achieving similar rates of promotion for men and women at all levels. And