Evaluate Australian Historical Factors that are Hindering the success of Multiculturalism and Diversity in the Workplace today
Multiculturalism is a concept that was introduced in Australia in the 1970s. Since its introduction, the country has to face various challenges in adapting to changes brought by different cultures. Australian society has had problems when it comes to evolving due to the changes brought by various cultures. Following this, various states in Australia have set up different policies and programs that help deal with multiculturalism, especially in the workplace. The workplace is one area where people from different cultural backgrounds end up meeting. For everyone to complete their tasks effectively, all the workers and the management must be willing to accept each other’s cultural differences and work towards achieving the set goals and objectives of the organization. Although there have been efforts to ensure that multiculturalism and diversity in the workplace are adopted, various historical factors are hindering these efforts. In this essay, I will evaluate these factors and explain what can be done to eliminate them to have a good and safe workplace.
One of the factors is the education system in the country. One of the paces that the Australian community can learn about multiculturalism is education, which is done in schools. According to Reynolds et al. (2011), culture is acquired from parents and the people we live with. Hence, it is essential to introduce the concept of cultural diversity as early as possible. However, the same must be taught at home since the earlier a person is exposed to multiculturalism, the better it will be for them even when they go to school to learn about it. Multiculturalism was not incorporated into the education system properly, making it hard to teach about it and learn its importance (Arasaratnam, 2014). Following this, the government should incorporate multiculturalism into the whole curriculum instead of teaching it as a stand-alone subject. This will help people learn about it from a young age until they clear school; hence, it will be easy for them to interact with people from different cultures in the workplace.
Another factor hindering multiculturalism and diversity in the workplace today is that diversity management in the workplace was introduced late. The concept of diversity was introduced in the 1960s, but it was not incorporated in the workplace (Kramar, 2012). Following this, it became hard for the people to learn how to co-exist together in the workplace, since most of them knew how to live with people of different cultures outside the workplace. As a result, this has made it hard for people to learn to exist and work peacefully in the workplace. According to Kramar (2012), managing diversity was applied to the context of work organizations in the late 1980s. This was incorporated in terms of organizational survival since it was realized that it is hard for an organization to survive if it does not embrace diversity and multiculturalism. Following this, people are still adapting to the cultural differences in the workplace in Australia. However, it has not been entirely successful as the concept of diversity was introduced late in the workplace.
The issue of migration is another factor that has hindered multiculturalism and diversity in the workplace today in Australia. Over the past decade, migrants and refugees have settled in Australia, bringing with them a set of different values and cultural beliefs (Chisari, 2015). This has made it hard for people to adapt to all these cultural changes, making it hard to embrace multiculturalism today. However, the Australian government is doing everything possible to ensure that the migrants and the refugees learn the ways, cultures, and beliefs of the Australian people to adapt faster (Gudykunst, 2003). However, it becomes hard to change the beliefs of the migrants, and the best thing is for the different people to learn to co-exist peacefully. The booklet about Becoming an Australian Citizen has helped many migrants to learn how to co-exist in the country, making it easy for everyone to live peacefully (Chisari, 2015). However, suppose the government wants the people to co-exist peacefully. In that case, such norms and procedures should be instilled even to the Australian citizens to know how to embrace and respect people who have different cultures in the workplace.
Religion is another factor that has highly hindered the success of cultural diversity in the workplace. People have different beliefs regarding religion, and all these beliefs can be seen in the workplace. Religion is a factor that highly influences resilience, making it hard for people to adapt to other cultural beliefs (Mitha & Adatia, 2016). There are different religions in the county, most of the people being Christians and Muslims. As a result, the two have different beliefs, and they do certain things differently. Depending on how a person has been brought up, it becomes hard to instil different beliefs in a person of different religions. However, people need to learn that they must co-exist in the workplace if the goals and objectives of the company are to be met. The youth are more affected by religious beliefs; hence, the earlier they are taught how to embrace each religion, the easier it will be to adapt to cultural diversity in the workplace. To ensure that religion is well embraced in the country, the social support network from religion plays a major role in ensuring that people respect each other’s beliefs (Mitha & Adatia, 2016). As a result, religious leaders need to teach common aspects of culture to learn as early as possible the importance of respecting each other’s beliefs and cultures in the workplace.
Politics and political beliefs is another thing that has made it hard for people to learn about the importance of embracing cultural diversity in the workplace. Politicians should not be elected due to their cultural affiliations; and instead, they should be elected due to their beliefs and the changes they bring into society. Australian politics had made it hard for the minority cultural and ethnic groups to be recognized (Smits, 2011). Following this, it is hard to learn about the beliefs and cultures of such minority groups. This is wrong, and if the trend continues, it will be hard for the people who come from such minority groups to be respected and recognized in the workplace. Politicians should aim to promote equality among the citizens, which is done by recognizing that all citizens are equal no matter where one comes from (Smits, 2011). If a country is united politically, then there will be no issues of differences in the workplace, hence creating a conducive working environment.
The country took long to realize that multiculturalism can be used as a tool for nation-building. Over the years, it was hard for the citizens to embrace each other’s culture, especially when embracing the new cultures brought in by the immigrants and the refugees. However, over the years, people have realized that the more they embrace each other in cultural beliefs and religion, the more peaceful the country becomes (Moran, 2011). All people need to be treated equally hence creating an inclusive national identity. Suppose a person feels recognized and respected due to their culture, not bearing in mind that they are citizens by birth or migration any other factor. In that case, it will be easy to co-exist peacefully in the workplace. However, this cannot work if the country does not develop a national culture that each citizen must follow (Crisp & Meleady, 2012). Although the country has taken long to ensure some of the laws and regulations that will help people embrace cultural diversity are out in place, many people are now accepting that people cannot have similar beliefs. Still, they can live together peacefully regardless of their differences. This realization will help ensure that workers live peacefully and work well without offending each other due to cultural differences.
Embracing multiculturalism in the workplace is an important concept as it helps unite the workers, hence enabling them to complete their tasks successfully. However, all the above-discussed hindrances have affected the workers, making it hard for them to work effectively. It is important to note that the Australian government is doing everything it can to ensure that all the factors that hinder embracing cultural diversity are eliminated. However, the government cannot work alone. That is why the citizens need to understand all the frameworks to make it easy for the government to implement the set policies.
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