The workforce has become increasingly more diverse, and this trend toward diversity will continue.67 This includes increasing diversity along racial, ethnic, and gender lines, as well as an increasing percentage of the workforce that is over age fifty-five.68 Effectively managing diversity has been identified as one of five distinguishing features of organizations that make it onto Fortune maga- zine’s list of 100 Best Companies.Diversity issues have several implications for HRD professionals. First, organizations need to address racial, ethnic, and other prejudices that may persist, as well as cultural insensitivity and language differ- ences. Second, with the increasing numbers of women in the workforce, organizations should continue to provide developmental opportunities that will prepare women for advance- ment into the senior ranks and provide safeguards against sexual harassment. Third, the aging of the workforce highlights the importance of creating HRD programs that recognize and address the learning-related needs of both younger and older workers. Diversity can be a catalyst for improved organizational performance—though this is far from a sure thing!
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