The Power of Diversity: Leveraging Leadership for a Well-Diversified Workforce - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1706 Words
Date:  2023-08-22


The corporate world is a platform that has embraced leadership in order to achieve the vision and mission statement of the organizations within. Leadership has many roles. One of them is leveraging the powers vested in them to create a well-diversified organization in terms of the workforce (Bagshaw, M., 2004, p 153) Think of it as having different fruits in the same basket. This is better because they offer not only different flavors to the palate but also have different nutrients that propagate better health. The leadership determines who enters the workforce at different levels in the hierarchy. This affects the level of diversity in terms of; gender, age, experience/skillset, religion, ethnicity, and even race.

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Mentioning factors of diversity like; religion and race are out of the consideration that companies or organizations can be based on the two, for example. A relief and development company like; ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) is an organization that mostly employs people who ascribe to the Seventh Day Adventist Faith. Or an Organisation like; Black Lives Matter Movement that employs human rights activists for people of the Black Race in America.

With great power, comes great responsibility. Thus the Leadership must be at the frontline to create a diverse workforce. Using the previous analogy of different fruits with different nutrients, in the same way, the company stands to gain much more if it creates a diverse workforce. The habit of doing so will bring onboard different talents, inventions, ideas, solutions, and even attract different clients, meaning more revenue.

What are the ways of keeping the workforce diverse? Someone might ask after reading the question. The first and foremost is to actively and intentionally employ people from different backgrounds, in terms of; previous experiences, education levels, ethnicity, gender, nationality, among others. To succeed at anything, one cannot afford to be complacent about the type of workforce they have. When people are shortlisted for various posts in a company, diversity should be borne in mind.

One thing to bear in mind is, work-force diversity applies even though some employees will be working on short-term (contractual) or long-term basis. Most successful companies in the world, e.g., Safaricom and Google, can attribute their massive profitability at $890 million and $79 billion to their diverse workforce (Olunga, 2007, p 24). For example, their CEOs, Bob Collymore (former) and Sundar Pichai, respectively, are natives of Guyana and India, respectively. This example of a success story attributed to Workforce Diversity is more than enough proof of how good the idea is.

The creation of all-inclusive company culture is necessary for a diverse organization. An intelligent culture, i.e., Cultural Quotient (CQ) (Ayman, 2010, p 157). Zero-tolerance for the marginalization of employees based on their; gender, age, religion, or physical disability. Something as simple as creating a ramp for employees on wheelchairs or creating a ‘handicap’ spot in the parking lot goes a long way to encourage diversity. The company culture should be like a giant umbrella that accommodates everyone’s position in the organization.

The kind of leader that can create such an organizational culture has to embrace the Coaching Leadership style. The leader looks out for the individual needs of the employees. The person is a coach leader because each employee is seen as part of a team, just like in Football. This is encouraged by an intense ‘LMX’ (Leader-Member Exchange) (Nishii, 2009, p1412). By doing so, the person can know how to shape the culture of the organization to accommodate the varying needs of employees. For example, if the leader is a Christian and an employee directly under him/her is a Muslim, he/she would know that there is a sure way that a Muslim Woman must dress, e.g., wearing a burka to cover their head, for example.

Make the hiring and qualification criteria transparent. Ensure that the rubric for selection is equal for all applicants. This will create a healthy and heterogeneous workforce in the end. The transformational style of Leadership perpetuates such kind of practice. It bears in mind that different people mean different ideas and ideas bring innovation, the key to long-term profitability in a company. Encouraging a diverse workforce is a great way to combat stagnation. Because if a company does not innovate and grow, it dies.

Avoid the use of gendered language as a leader and potential employer. When inviting potential workers for hire, a company must be vigilant of the language it uses to advertise vacancies. For example, the use of words that lean towards masculine attributes (‘dominant, ‘aggressive’ or ‘hardened’) may discourage women and the LGBTQ community from applying, since they may pre-disqualify themselves. The company may thus miss out on employing top talent.

Another way to encourage workforce diversity is to recognize that stereotypes are enemies. Stereotyping is the pre-assumption that a person will act a certain way or have certain qualities judging by their physical or psychological attributes. For example, assuming someone is not bright intellectually because they are black or assuming that a lady is good in grammar while a gentleman is good with math. Each applicant should get an equal chance at an interview to make an accurate assessment of their true qualifications.

An excellent example to look upon is the great success story of Barrack Obama, the 44th and 1st Black President of the United States (Eagly, 2010, p216). Assuming that Americans had misjudged his leadership capabilities because of his racial background, they would have missed out on the greatness he had to offer first as the Senator of Illinois and then head of the most powerful country in the world. He was what you would call a Charismatic Leader with a strong vision and values, and he lived up to his reputation.

For example, he prevented the American Economy from going into Recession by reducing the rate of unemployment down to 4.7% from 10%, within six years. By no means an easy feat. Companies should learn from this and appreciate the fact that anyone, no matter their background, is capable of accomplishing great things. It is all about giving everyone an equal chance to prove their value.

Stereotypes are also the reason why Women are often side-lined from taking up many corporate seats and leadership positions. The Great Man Theory of Leadership (a person may be born with or without traits that make them able leaders) is a good reference. The title of the theory is enough proof that women often are seen as incapable of Leadership. It gives examples only of successful men, who shaped the course of history, e.g., Alexander the Great, Mahatma Gandhi, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Akbar the Great, Mansa Musa of Mali, among others.

It is easy to forget that there have been great women that have brought massive success to their personal and professional lives. For example, Queen Elizabeth II (reigning English Monarch), Margaret Thatcher (the former Premier, United Kingdom), Isabel Dos Santos(richest businesswoman in Africa), Hillary Clinton (US Congresswoman) and even Liberia’s current president, Elaine Johnson-Sirleaf.

The Role Congruity Theory is biased by saying that Leadership does not align with a woman’s role, which is traditionally submissive or sub-ordinate (Elsesser, 2011, p 1571). The success stories above are more than enough proof of why these claims should be rubbished. Workforce diversity is also about the right balance of both genders. Companies should aim to get an idea of a 50/50 male to female worker ratio. Of course, it has to be within the constraints of variables like; type of organization and government policies.

Posting vacancies in unusual places also creates a high propensity to create a diverse workforce. Leadership should give directives to the Recruitment team to do this intentionally. Places include malls, gyms, day-care outlets, or libraries. These are places where people from all walks of life and attributes may converge, meaning that the applicants attracted and those ultimately shortlisted will also be diverse.

The hiring of work-force should be by merit and not by virtue or ‘connections.’ For example, stressing in the Job description that a person must come from a high-end institution like; Harvard or Cambridge means that highly talented and skilled personnel that may be a better fit miss out. For example, if a person studied engineering at a famous university while another went to a technical training institute to study the same course. If the latter’s grade and overall commitment are better than the first’s, then it imperative that he/she gets the job.

Last but not least, the leaders must promote diverse employees to higher positions on the corporate ladder. For example, if a well able manager of Hindu faith is promoted, then the same must be done for anyone else who has earned a promotion. For example, a Christian who is a member of the PLWD (People Living with Disabilities). The same goes for other leadership decisions like monetary and non-monetary compensation.

Diversity in the workplace helps create a positive public image for the company. Potential employees on the outside will thus know that they can apply and get jobs. In Conclusion, the above sum up some of the workforce diversification strategies that a company’s Leadership can apply and the conditions necessary for a successful application. It is worth remembering that they may or may not be relevant or useful depending on the type of company. It is up to the Leadership to decide what works for them.


Ayman, R., & Korabik, K. (2010). Leadership: Why gender and culture matter. American psychologist, 65(3), 157.

Bagshaw, M., 2004. Is diversity divisive? A positive training approach. Industrial and Commercial Training.

Eagly, A. H., & Chin, J. L. (2010). Diversity and leadership in a changing world. American psychologist, 65(3), 216.

Elsesser, K. M., & Lever, J. (2011). Does gender bias against female leaders persist? Quantitative and qualitative data from a large-scale survey. Human Relations, 64(12), 1555-1578.

Nishii, L. H., & Mayer, D. M. (2009). Do inclusive leaders help to reduce turnover in diverse groups? The moderating role of leader-member exchange in the diversity to the turnover relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1412.

Olunga, V. O. (2007). Responses of Safaricom limited to changes in the Telecommunication industry in Kenya. Unpublished MBA Research Project, University of Nairobi.

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The Power of Diversity: Leveraging Leadership for a Well-Diversified Workforce - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 22). Retrieved from

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