Women and other minorities continue to bump their heads on the glass ceiling and corporate America relocates to foreign destinations in hopes of lowering costs of human capital. It seems safe to suggest that there is a greater workplace diversity. Cultural diversity being a new issue and challenge such movements create. The globalization brings with it new frontiers, new cultural obligations and especially new market shares if handled properly by humans in influential positions.
Yet, just as Karl Marx suggested, in his economic writings many years ago, conflict arises from human interaction in the "process of production"(when humans work together). In essence, humans can't always get along nor appreciate differences one to another. Sad but true. It's clear, then, this is not a new problem but instead one that has lingered since humans began working together. What's new is the way or ways which companies are now dealing with the humans.
Historically speaking sexual harassment was the challenge when women began working alongside men. Racial bias when African Americans joined white workers in similar roles. In respect to women, no one noticed a problem had developed until mounting legal fees turned into courtroom drama and aggressive background checks as women forced change in the customary practices of the workplace. Following closely behind the litigation was governmental legislation and mandated hiring and recruiting practices. These new laws quickly began being enforced and companies were forced to implement new policy in respect to the standards with which women could and would be treated by male counterparts in the work place. We've come a long way baby! Yet, if the war in Iraq is an indicator of things to come in the future, women still have not reached full potential or equality on a global scale.
The same can be said to be true of affirmative action and the African American workers. Martin Luther King, Jr. may have had a dream but in reality there is still a long road to march until all people are treated equal. Of course, racial divide has given way to greater diversity and affirmative action has improved the numbers of African Americans in the workforce just as sexual harassment complaints gave way to gender sensitivity training and better working conditions for females in all types of jobs. All issues have improved corporate awareness and an interest in the plight of workers have brought forth improvements in training applications thereby addressing problems before they escalate into global concerns.
Yet, regardless of where a company is situated around the globe what matters most is the bottom line. Whether it is the yen, euro or dollar; a multi-national corporation will always base its actions, policies and practices on profits. It's easy to suggest then that concern for the worker is just another way of improving profit margins. If this be true, then, cultural diversity is not simply a promoting of human awareness, appreciation and cooperation in the workplace but instead just another way in which companies can exploit human capital and translate this exploitation into profits.