Yahsat Firm’s Equality and Diversity Management


Satellite services are becoming more and more requested in the modern world, which explains that businesses in the United Arab Emirates also start relying on them. Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (hereinafter referred to as Yahsat) is an Arab public company “offering multi-mission satellite services in more than 150 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia, and Australasia” (Yahsat, n.d.a, para. 1). In particular, the business provides its customers with commercial and government solutions for broadcast, broadband, communications, and defense use (Yahsat, n.d.a). Such a significant and vast scope of the company denotes that the organization requires a versatile and numerous workforce to cope with all the tasks and satisfy customers’ needs.

Considering the information above, one can suppose that Yahsat should rely on specific diversity and equality principles to ensure that these values are addressed. To begin with, one should highlight that the Yahsat workforce is relatively diverse. According to the company’s official website, employees represent 34 nationalities and speak 60 languages (Yahsat, n.d.a). In addition to that, the business admits that specific attention is drawn to inclusion, while the female presentation is rising and currently accounts for 24% (Yahsat, n.d.b). According to this data, it is possible to suggest that the company takes sufficient efforts to implement diversity, inclusion, and equality at-site. A closer analysis of this issue reveals that the organization does not rely on any specific models to promote diversity. That is why the Yahsat workforce is subject to significant issues, which is supported by the survey results, while the literature review demonstrates that the organization can contribute to better diversity among its workforce.

Literature Overview

To begin with, one should clarify what diversity management specifically means. This term stands for “managerial practices that secure equality, respect, appreciation, and engagement among majority-minority affiliated members in a way that contributes to the achievement of their organization’s set of strategic and tactical objectives” (Mousa et al., 2020, p. 1250). In other words, this practice ensures that representatives of different minority groups are included in the workforce and do not face any prejudiced attitudes based on their racial, ethnic, sexual, and other peculiarities. Thus, the following information will comment on what diversity management models and approaches are currently available.

In the beginning, it is reasonable to stipulate that diversity typically refers to a specific set of concepts. As a rule, eight dimensions are significant, and they include gender, ethnicity, age, health conditions, organizational role, race, religion, and sexual orientation (Koellen, 2021). Numerous theories and paradigms can explain why the issue under analysis exists. On the one hand, the social identity theory implies that people belong to groups (Roberson, 2019). Thus, if individuals meet a person that does not belong to their group, discrimination can occur. On the other hand, the similarity-attraction paradigm implies that people are more likely to establish contact with individuals who are considered similar (Roberson, 2019). This statement denotes that people can find it more challenging to enter interaction with individuals who have evident differences. Consequently, these theoretical frameworks clarify what diversity in the workplace exists.

Now, it is reasonable to comment on the existing diversity management approaches. For example, the similarity-attraction paradigm can be applied to promote diversity at the recruitment stage. According to Roberson (2019), if recruiters and HR agents are representatives of minorities, there is a higher probability that more diverse applicants will want to attend this job interview. It is also worth admitting that the same effect is achieved by nonminority job seekers who represent organizations that are famous for valuing diversity (Roberson, 2019). In addition to that, recruitment channels can also affect whether an organization can find diverse candidates. For example, it is not surprising that the Internet is not the best strategy to recruit older individuals because representatives of this age group typically have low computer literacy. These models show how an organization’s recruitment policies can contribute to increased diversity.

Once all the members are recruited and employed, businesses can rely on specific approaches to promote diversity among the current workforce. Firstly, a suitable approach is to organize specialized training sessions. The focus can be placed on cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes (Roberson, 2019). This approach is necessary to ensure that individual employees understand the negative effect of discrimination and know specific interventions to promote diversity. According to Abaker et al. (2018), pay and benefits, health insurance, and retention efforts are also significant issues contributing to diversity and equality. When all one-level employees are provided with similar conditions, it makes them disregard any differences regarding their age, race, and others. Equal treatment of all the staff members contributes to establishing a productive environment in the workplace, which leads to team cohesion.

Since the paper focuses on Yahsat, it is reasonable to comment on the Arabian environment. Companies operating within this area are forced to meet Emiratization requirements. This strategy is created by the government to reduce the number of unemployed Saudi nationals. In practice, this requirement denotes that organizations are forced “to reduce their non-Saudi employees yearly by at least 5 percent and increase the employment of Saudi nationals by the same percentage” (Abaker et al., 2018, p. 457). There is no doubt that this approach significantly harms the diversity of numerous companies.

Numerous companies successfully promote diversity and inclusion within their workforce. On the one hand, it is possible to look at the Coca-Cola Company. The organization aims to achieve the 50% presentation of women in senior leadership roles and contributes to more active inclusion of diverse individuals in the workforce (The Coca-Cola Company, n.d.). On the other hand, Mastercard is also famous for approaching the issue effectively. For example, the business promotes diversity, equity, and equality and avoid discriminating against people based on their characteristic features (Mastercard, n.d.). These are the companies that established diversity as one of their primary objectives.

Consequently, the findings demonstrate that there are different approaches toward diversity management in the workplace. On the one hand, organizations have sufficient means and strategies to ensure that representatives of different backgrounds are included in the workforce. Specific paradigms and theories encourage companies to invest efforts in this activity. Organizations can also organize specific training programs to ensure that discrimination issues are absent. On the other hand, some environmental peculiarities can significantly harm diversity, and the example refers to the Emiratization strategy. Thus, companies need to meet this requirement and ensure that the workforce is sufficiently diverse at the same time.

Ways to Create a Diverse Culture in the Workplace

As outlined by Mazur (2014), diversity is a cultural inquiry and, therefore, a matter of principles, beliefs, and customs. Based on that definition, diversity can be viewed as a moral problem and determined by specific vital founding values of human cohabitation. Therefore, this has to be taken into consideration, recognized, and established if diversity management is fruitful (Erolin, 2016). Nonetheless, in many organizations, an institution of diversity programs may have started as a response to lawmaking orders, as a retort to the shortage in the talented workforce, and as an appeal to young talents (Mazur, 2014). For instance, the diversity initiatives, equal access programs, non-discrimination policies, localizations plans, and many others have only worked to resist multiplicity instead of making it culturally valued (Podsiadlowski et al., 2013). While there has been some evidence of the validity of instituting such policies, they are less likely to unleash any potential benefits given the current trends in the global labor market (Budhwar, Pereira, Mellahi, & Singh, 2018).

Different approaches to managing workforce diversity have been identified in the literature. Some current organizations focus on reinforcing heterogeneity and color blindness to address diversity. Others emphasize increasing fairness and access through various programs (Podsiadlowski, Gröschke, Kogler, Springer, and Van der Zee, 2013). Given the present demographic trajectory, 21st-century companies continue to grow into more culturally heterogeneous firms, which challenges the conventional notions of work ethic, group effectiveness, leadership, and incentive structures (Shaban, 2016). Therefore, to remain relevant, human resource managers have to enhance their understanding of the various cultural dimensions and their impacts on organizations (Shaban, 2016). In other words, addressing cultural diversity requires a new type of aptitude, a concept that is commonly known as cultural intelligence (CQ). However, according to Erolin (2016), CQ can be effectively achieved through integration and learning.

Unlike integration and learning, the other approaches used by organizations to address diversity have mainly revolved around the business case argument. For instance, strategies such as increasing access, fairness, and color-blindness, which are mostly embedded within existing programs, have often failed to address the more complex aspects of diversity (Podsiadlowski et al., 2013). As much as numerous studies link such measures to increased productivity, the fact that they are preoccupied with the business case makes them less ideal (Erolin, 2016). For instance, some multinationals emphasize heavily localizing every aspect of the organization by adopting hiring, recruitment, and advancement principles that are endorsed only to persons from the overriding majority, for example, local business knowledge (Shaban, 2016). As much as such strategies may reduce costs associated with diversity, they ignore and resist cultural multiplicity (Ă–zbilgin, Ipek, & Sameer, 2014). Moreover, despite instituting fairness programs, for instance, those that stress the importance of equal treatment and avoiding discriminatory practices, there are still cases of gender biases in the workplace.

Yahsat Diversity Survey Analysis

The survey conducted in the Yahsat company involved a questionnaire with mostly yes/no or open-ended questions. The number of respondents to the survey is 18, which represents the limited scope of people in the company and the sample size is rather small. However, diversity management addresses the needs of all types of companies and teams; therefore, the analysis of the survey provides a necessary insight into employees’ attitudes and the company’s environment.

According to the survey, several issues should be addressed by the diversity management strategy. First of all, the gender diversity in the company is relatively low, with only three women working in Yahsat (Figure 1). In addition, the language and nationality background can also be considered homogenous as most employees are UAE nationals that speak the Arabic language (Figure 2; Figure 3; Figure 4). However, even within such type of environment, the 16.7 percent rate of unethical behavior and even harassment claims are present in the report (Figure 5; Figure 6). Therefore, diversity managers need to address the issue of corporate culture to prevent the possibility of harassment issues.


Integration and learning is a broader approach that can ensure that the organization as a whole, as well as workers, benefit from a diverse work environment (Podsiadlowski et al., 2013). Firms that emphasize integration and learning can use diversity to create a learning atmosphere where every individual in the institution can gain from a diverse work setting. More importantly, according to Podsiadlowski et al. (2013), the method is deemed the most tactical; that is, transformation occurs through a joint adaptation of different groups.

In addition, while the access approach recognizes diversity more like a business case by gaining access to varied consumers and global marketplaces, the integration and learning strategy emphasizes initiatives that move beyond business-linked demographic reasons. As demonstrated by Podsiadlowski et al. (2013), focusing more on integration and learning can aid global HRM in pursuing equal and fair treatment of every person within the organization without particular support for minority groups (Wilkie, 2015). That does not mean that potential disparities are overlooked. Instead, it implies that the firm has moved beyond differentiating between diverse groups of individuals to recognizing the distinctive and particular skills of every worker and their input.

Numerous organizations currently have diversity initiatives such as training plans in positions (Ă–zbilgin et al., 2014). However, in most cases, they do not demonstrate the needed results, such as the establishment of a setting that nurtures inclusion. As such, they cannot attain the benefits associated with multiplicity, let alone create values that accept diversity and nurture humanity. Mazur (2014) attributes the failure to assimilation, which is a selective approach that most firms use. Hence, the assimilation strategy, which is normally embedded in existing diversity initiatives, ignores differences among personnel. Emigrants, minorities, and women are more or less likely to conform to a defined and prevailing business culture (Chuang, 2016). By not being acknowledged or appreciated, their skills and capability are not harnessed, they are unable to achieve at their optimal level, and they face obstacles when it comes to promotion.

Enhancing the corporate culture of diversity is an essential strategy for Yahsat as in the case one employee among 18 surveyed is harassed, the effects of it are felt in the productivity of the whole team. Hence, educating managers and training employees on the matters of cultural competence is going to have a long-term effect on the performance of the organization, talent retention, attraction, and, as a result, the revenue of Yahsat.


In conclusion, the paper developed a diversity management report of the Yahsat company and provided a recommendation on the diversity management strategy. According to the above discussion, addressing cultural diversity requires a new type of aptitude, an aspect that can be effectively achieved through integration and learning. Unlike other approaches, inclusion and education is a broader approach that can ensure that the organization as a whole, as well as workers, benefit from a diverse work environment. In addition, it is through integration and learning that global human resource managers can move away from the current analogy of managing diversity and start embracing change, given that the key to survival is adaptability to the changing environment.


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