Challenges in Managing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace


Most organizations, local and international, pursue and enhance diversity and inclusion in the workplaces as a fundamental initiative for gaining a competitive advantage against their contestants in the industry. Although establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace is the right thing to do, managers and other executives understand numerous benefits and know it is a tool for improving employees’ experience. While diversity can be a priority, creating a culture that makes workers from all backgrounds feel included should be paramount.

Diversity and Inclusion

Inclusion and diversity are two of the most important aspects of the work of any successful organization in modern society. Diversity includes the innate characteristics of any person. This may be age, gender, racial origin, sexual orientation, physical and mental characteristics, and limitations (Roberson, 2019). This list also includes features acquired over the course of life, such as education, place of residence, and social status.

Inclusion consists in organizing a workplace that allows all people, regardless of their external and internal characteristics, to participate in its various aspects. The company should set as its main goal the desire to create a corporate culture in which every employee can be themselves and show their abilities as much as possible (Ramdhani et al., 2017). In an inclusive environment, employees are open-minded, free from prejudice and prejudice, flexible in making decisions and performing tasks. An inclusive workplace is such an environment, which recognizes the differences of people and makes sure that everyone feels accepted and in demand for who they are. A workplace that is both diverse and inclusive is a direct way to achieve success.

Challenges of Implementation

Communication barriers are a significant challenge in managing diversity and inclusion in workplaces. It is true that a diverse and inclusive workforce can contribute to innovation and unique approaches to problem-solving. Nevertheless, conflicts due to communication barriers and different perspectives inhibit efforts for maintaining effective diversity and inclusion in an organization. Communication is an essential factor that ensures that managers share the organization’s goals and objectives with the employees and everyone understands their role and responsibilities.


However, potential misunderstandings are inevitable even where workers are using the same language to communicate. For instance, companies can be using English, but differences in accents and colloquialism between British, American, and Australian English can cause misinterpretations and conflicts. Equally, a significant number of the employees may be using English as their second language leading to ineffective communication and failure to comprehend instructions, lowering productivity and team collaboration.

Gender and Age

Gender and age are other issues that can hinder communication in workplaces. It might be challenging for the workers to understand one another if their demographic differences encourage them to utilize a particular kind of language such as slang. For instance, youthful employees may opt to utilize slang or various terminologies that are unfamiliar to the older generation. Equally, male workers tend to use more tag questions or swear words than their female counterparts, who, in most instances, talk politely. As a result, communication issues become inevitable, making it challenging for leaders to manage diversity and inclusion in their organizations.

Cultural Misunderstanding

Cultural misunderstandings are another critical issue that poses a significant challenge in the management of diversity and inclusion in workplaces. While hiring individuals from different cultures can be beneficial in meeting customers’ needs, sometimes employees may lack adequate intercultural skills. For instance, age is an important factor that influences whose opinion will be prioritized in the Asian culture (Yi, 2021). On the contrary, western cultures such as American emphasize more on skills, competencies, and how much and the idea is likely to benefit an organization and not the age.

Using the left hand, giving someone thumbs up, or patting them on the back can be offensive in some cultures. These cultural differences can trigger misconceptions between the management team and the staff as well as among the employees. Consequently, some workers may feel out of place, increasing the possibility of not sharing their opinions or being an effective team player when among those they believe to be from a different culture.

Informal Mentoring and Insensitivity

Informal mentoring and insensitivity in workplaces also threaten effective management of diversity and inclusion. Unlike in the formal mentoring programs in organizations, managers and supervisors can opt to guide, assist, and guide junior staff in their career development. This type of unplanned mentoring can inhibit efforts of effectively fostering and managing diversity since the senior employees are more likely to unconsciously assist only those individuals they see themselves in them. Such a move can make others feel left out or discriminated against, which can negatively impact their productivity.

Conversely, some employees are insensitive when making commentaries in workplaces. For instance, some workers, especially the youthful, may talk about social events that revolve around drinking alcohol or partying in private clubs. Such incidences can discourage diverse employees from participating in teamwork events or feel excluded if they have to attend such events. While ensuring a diverse workforce in companies can be easier, making all employees feel included in operations, and other activities can be hindered by the two factors.

A wide range of opinions can also hamper efforts to effectively manage diversity and inclusion in workplaces. Indeed, different experiences and backgrounds allow diverse employees to utilize various approaches to scenarios and the development of new ideas. Such a workforce is a valuable asset to organizations since they keep generating innovative ideas and identifying issues. Nevertheless, the employees can provide excessive opinions, leading to failure to reach an agreement. Consequently, inventive solutions to issues may remain unnoticed amongst the many ideas. The numerous thoughts can compromise firms’ capability to meet tight deadlines due to inability to accommodate all the employees’ perspectives.

Gender Sensitization

Compared to other issues related to diversity and inclusion, the issue of gender sensitization is quite acute. Prasanna (2021) states that “this sociological conditioning has resulted in discrimination, violence and other negative consequences for both the sexes” (p. 55). This is due to the predominance of women in the workplace, as well as the influence of past trends. These factors distinguish this problem as the dominant one, which interferes with the work of managers and the entire organization as a whole and prevents it from achieving successful outcomes. The main aspect of the problem under consideration is that, despite the policies and rules governing gender-specific issues in most organizations, there is insufficient evidence that they are being followed by staff and managers.

Thus, the primary task is to change the mentality, not the policy. These actions can be taken when the workforce is focused on the needs of women. The trend in recent years has been towards louder disapproval of such exercises from industry leaders and management consultants, who have repeatedly stressed the importance of a non-discriminatory workplace. To combat the problem of gender sensitization, actions and decisions should be taken at all managerial levels of the organization. The responsibility lies with the management, which must ensure compliance with the necessary rules and regulations.

Inequitable Inclusion

Personnel diversity management is aimed at attracting, motivating, and preserving human resources regardless of their origin, nationality, and other personal qualities. Unfair integration further threatens this effective governance. In the course of incorrect distribution of personnel, conflicts may arise within the team. It is also worth noting that the activities of the organization aimed at combating the negative factors of the work of a person with the involvement of a variety of individual and personal characteristics do not necessarily ensure the achievement of the necessary efficiency of the use of human resources.


Steps to increase the effectiveness of human resource management practices with the involvement of diversity and inclusiveness imply the following directions:

  • development of diversified HR management;
  • analysis of diversity and inclusion policies and processes;
  • identification of priorities in the development of these aspects;
  • training in diversity and inclusion of personnel and management companies;
  • support organizational culture through training and internal communications.

Diversity can help create a workplace that is much more interesting and dynamic. When different people from different backgrounds start working together, they can share information and experiences with each other. This makes the workforce a much more balanced and tolerant place to work. Diversity and inclusion require respect for one’s own beliefs while at the same time learning the skills to properly handle values that can be completely different.


Managing diversity and inclusion is essential both for the success of an organization and for its employees. One of the main problems of diversity management is the linguistic aspect, cultural differences, and informal mentoring. Moreover, the most pressing issue of diversity management also arises from the treatment of women, the issue of race and gender. These factors are particularly important and essential in managing these aspects of the work environment.

Thus, all organizations should pay attention to their employees in relation to race and gender issues. In addition, they must ensure that there is no discrimination, communication violations in the workplace. The formation of an inclusive organizational culture is the result of systematic work and a sequence of steps. Moreover, it can act as a competitive advantage in the global environment.


Prasanna, K. (2021). A study of gender sensitization- contemporary challenges. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Educational Research, 5(16), 55-61. Web.

Ramdhani, A., Ramdhani, M. A., & Ainissyifa, H. (2017). Conceptual framework of corporate culture influenced on employees’ commitment to organization. International Business Management, 11(3), 826-830. Web.

Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6, 69-88. Web.

Yi, J. S. (2021). Revisiting Hofstede’s uncertainty-avoidance dimension: A cross-cultural comparison of organizational employees in four countries. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 21(1), 46-61. Web.

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