Why managers need to understand cultural, ethnic, and gender differences in business.

Managers must understand the advantages and disadvantages brought on by different cultures. Cultural and ethnic differences are a fact of life in the workplace. People tend to stereotype individuals from other cultures or races. This must be overcome, however, will be challenging. To be effective, managers and employees need to recognize, respect, and capitalize on their differences. This will and can reduce stress and make a better workplace. Women in the workplace are still at a disadvantage. Women are regarded as inferior to men at the workplace in relation to job level and salary. Much work still needs to be done.

How does becoming culturally competent lead to understanding and accounting for differences so that open, clear communication and cooperation are possible without showing favoritism?

Diller defines culturally competent as the ability to effectively provide services cross-culturally (2007). In my opinion, it would take a good attitude and skill from all staff involved to make it work. Having the right people as stated by Diller (2007), first you need to be aware and accept the differences. There is the need to be sensitive to ones beliefs and still be fair without the favoritism. In part, striving for cultural competence is recognition of the profession's ethnocentric foundation (Weaver, 1999). Promoting Cultural Competence is very important for communication and reducing racial and ethnic disparities. Managers will need to incorporate principals of non-discriminatory practice and manage the dynamics of differences and adapt to diversity.

The lefties experiment

In doing the experiment, I found it rather strange and difficult. This may sound odd but something as small as holding and using a pair of scissors or trying to use a knife was rather challenging and dangerous I might add. It is the same concept as being culturally different. It is rather a tough adjustment, although with some skill and time it can work. Just like ethnic groups, it takes adjusting and time. Left hander's definitely have a significant disadvantage. It can be frustrating living in a right-handed world as a left hander as I have discovered.


There is still a lot of work to be done with educating people in the acceptance of the diverse cultures and ethnic groups. We can offer videos, literature, activity and role playing as ways to educate individuals to better adjust to the vast cultures that are among us. Acceptance and respect are the biggest issues. As a manager, we must first accept and acknowledge the culture and learn to grow before we can expect someone else to accept and acknowledge it.

Author's Bio: 

Christian Dewis, the founder of IT School, has been conducting inspirational training programs for people from all walks of life, for more than 11 years. People who have attended his training programs vouch for the impact it created enriching their life.