Diversity is very important in today’s society and especially when you are working in a healthcare setting. It is recognising and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make people unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates everyone for who they are. This means that people need to accept and embrace diversity.
To make diversity positive we need to respond differently to it and make everyone aware of it. It is important that everyone knows and understand the meaning and importance of diversity. In this essay I am going to describe some of the areas that people can be discriminated against for and the benefits of diversity. These areas can be anything from gender, culture, age, race or social status. I am going to choose 8 areas of diversity and explain each of these briefly.
Age At work workers are protected from discrimination through policies and laws. This stops any harassment, bullying or unfair treatment on any person because of their age. When a workplace is hiring employees they must not look at them differently because of their age and they must not base an opinion on this. Employers must embrace the age range and the challenges that comes with it.
Disabilities The safeguarding vulnerable group’s act 2006 is in place to protect children and people with disabilities from abuse and discrimination. Many workplaces have policies in place to make sure people with disabilities are welcomed into the workplace and the place is suited for them. People should not be discriminated against because they are disabled. They did not choose to be disabled.
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Sexual orientation Sexuality is important in a lot of people’s lives and some people believe that they are born certain sexuality and this cannot be changed. Some people try to hide their sexuality because they are ashamed of what others may think but people should not have to worry about that.
They should be proud of their sexuality and they should not be discriminated against because of something they can’t change. Sexuality is defined differently by different cultures and religions but people should still not be treated any differently because of it.
Gender Gender has been discriminated against for many years as men believed women were second class citizens and they were only good for having children. This view has changed now for most people as women can now work and may be the main earner in many houses. Many women are working now and having children later in life. There are also a lot of families doing a role reversal and women are going to work while men stay home and look after the children. Some people discriminate against this but it is the family’s choice and they should be able to raise their children the way that they want.
Race There are many different races in the world and there is a lot of discrimination against races. There have been many legislations and acts to promote race equality such as the race relations act 1968 and the race relations amendment act 2001. These acts help to promote equality and to try and stop discrimination. People cannot choose their race and so should not be discriminated against because of it. They should also not be stereotyped because of it as we are all individuals and we are all different.
Cultural There are many different cultures in the world as well as different races and each culture has different beliefs and different traditions. With so many different cultures and ethnic groups in the UK now, schools, workplaces and public places must be accepting and welcoming to all cultures and customs. We must accept each person’s culture and ethnicity and respect them equally. We cannot treat someone differently because of their background.
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Religion When a workplace is hiring staff they must not discriminate against any person for their religion. Some workplaces include a monitoring form with their application so they can make sure they are not discriminating against any gender and religion. The public order will protect people from discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs. We should not discriminate against people because of their religion as it is their choice and it should not matter to anyone else what religion they are. They should be accepted for who they are.
Social Status There are many different social statuses and they are influenced by money, power appearance, etc. A person should not be discriminated against because of their social class as they didn’t choose to be brought up that way. A person’s social status doesn’t influence a person’s personality and so they should be treated equally to everyone else with respect and dignity.
Benefits of Diversity There are many benefits to having diversity in society. When we have a diverse society, people from different minorities will be offered opportunities such as jobs and training.
This will allow them to get qualifications and contribute to our economy. For example having diverse medical staff can bring new perspectives to the healthcare team as they may have better training or better ways of doing things. In some cases they may have different treatments for some illnesses that work better than others. Diversity can allow schools to change to include other religions and backgrounds.
This can allow the teaching staff to expand on their religion lessons and teach the students about different religions instead of just one or two. Diversity also gives us the chance to learn new languages so we can communicate with people from different countries.
This is to try to break the language barrier and allow us to communicate with other cultures. This is called cultural enrichment. Diversity in people in society can bring diversity in arts such as music and dance. Seeing other cultures making music or doing their native dance can open our eyes to their way of life and allow us to accept them and respect them for what they do.
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They also bring a diversity of foods from all over the world which can give us more variety of food to choose from and a wider perspective on people. In some supermarkets there is a section for worldwide foods. This is because of diversity.
Equality Equality is when everyone has equal rights and everyone is able to share opportunities. It does not mean that everyone is treated the same but it means we are all treated equally and with respect. To try and tackle equality we are trying to help those in most need first as they are generally being excluded from society. This can be because of their social class, disability, education, age etc.
Helping these people to reach equality can be done by giving them extra support workers to help those with a severe disability and free childcare and housing for someone possibly of a low social class. Equality means everyone should get an equal share of society’s resources such as health services and employment. Working in a healthcare setting means you should be professional and treat all staff and patients equally and respect their individuality regardless of their race, religion, age etc.
Rights In an aim to achieve equality for everyone a set of rights were devised and passed as law. These rights are put in place to try and ensure everyone has basic rights and responsibilities in society.
The human rights act 1998 contained a list of rights that everyone should have. I am going to describe 6 of them for the purpose of this essay. The right to be respected-Everyone has the right to be respected regardless of their differences. This is especially important in healthcare settings. The right to not be discriminated against-No person should be discriminated against for any reason. We should treat everyone equally.
The right to be safeguarded from harm-If we are in danger we all have the right to be protected from it as best as possible. The right to privacy- Privacy is a right we all have and need. It enables people to keep their dignity and have their privacy respected. The right to be treated as an individual-Everyone is different and individual and we all have the right to be treated as a unique person. The right to be allowed access to your information-Our information is confidential however as it is about us we have a right to see what is stored about us.
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Empowerment Empowerment is giving someone the ability or power to do or say something. It gives a person authority and allows them to feel stronger and more confident in themselves.
It teaches them that they control their life and they can claim their rights when they speak up. Empowerment is important in diversity as it allows people who may have been discriminated against the chance to pick themselves up and get the confidence they need to move on from it.
Stereotyping Stereotyping is making a judgement or assumption about a group or ‘type’ of people without knowing anything about them. It is usually based on a lack of knowledge, understanding or experience.
Some people are brought up in an environment where there is a lot of stereotyping going on and they will pick up on these ideas and believe them to be true. Stereotyping is similar to labelling as they are both grouping people to be all the same and making assumptions about them creating an oversimplified image.
Prejudice and labelling Prejudice is similar to stereotyping as it is a preconceived idea of a person without knowing anything about them. It means you are judging a person on a small part of their life and not giving them a chance to see their personality or way of life.
More often than not each prejudice is wrong and is not common in each minority. Labelling is a classifying phrase or name applied to a group of people with a common factor. It is very commonly inaccurate and restricts people’s views on the group and restricts the groups’ opportunities because of it. For example ‘blondes are dumb’.
This is wrong because it can make people believe these prejudice and labels and give them a low self-esteem.