Diversity and Self-Reflection

Diversity is an integral part of the modern world and societies, which were built on the failures of history of divisions of the previous centuries. It is evident that the given notion is also of paramount importance for ensuring a proper function and stability of a globalized world, where nations and economies are at a severe disadvantage without being integrated into a global economy. However, the most important reason is manifested in the fact that diversity is morally and ethically based.

The topic of diversity is a widely brought up and researched subject, but the issues are still persistent despite these efforts. Research indicates that in many critical professions, the lack of diversity is starkly evident, and no significant progress has been made in the last 40 years (Bernard & Cooperdock, 2018). In other words, many specialties are predominantly occupied by a specific ethnic or racial group.

Another article reveals that the diversity problem is a common issue among organizations, and many diversity-promoting programs fail to reach the desired objective (Dobbin & Kalev, 2016). The main reason for the latter is the fact that enhancing diversity is conducted in a highly superficial manner, where the appearance of diversity is established with no profound changes. Therefore, one can easily observe that the given idea is mostly enforced through company policies and marketing concepts, but no root cause factor is addressed.

Organizations integrate diversity training, where the content of the sessions is mostly focused on negative aspects of the lack of diversity, such as the company having a poor brand image or penalties for workers who do not strive for diversity. Such measures do not create environments where minority groups and women directly interact with people, which would be the most plausible and effective method of reducing bias among majority groups (Dobbin & Kalev, 2016). Thus, these frivolous attempts led to more separation and misunderstanding among various groups, where diversity is perceived as something enforced, rather than considered an improvement.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics contains several elements on the issues of marginalization, discrimination, and oppression. For example, section 4.02 of the code states: “Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, or mental or physical disability” (NASW, n.d., p. 7).

Other points revolve around misrepresentation and sexual harassment, however, these can be considered a minor portion of the code. Therefore, the NASW Code of Ethics can be substantially improved by adding diversity to social work’s central values, which are competence, integrity, the importance of human relationships, dignity, and worth of a person, social justice, and service (NASW, n.d.). It is important to note that this change would add another critical pillar to the six ethical principles, which would give more basis and incentive to reduce bias and discrimination.

The unique cultural composition of the client population is a highly important aspect of social work, where diversity can be delivered and ensured in a more precise and complete manner. The cultural composition is mostly comprised of male-dominant culture with an emphasis on masculinity, where its toxic elements can be a point of hindrance. The agency meets the needs of the population by applying conventional measures, and thus improvements can be made by integrating more compassionate and progressive approaches. The derived information can be used for better advocacy practices, where the problems are addressed at their roots rather than imposing incentives without the alterations of the basis.

It is important to note that social work requires a wide range of competencies, which is manifested in the overall complexity of the occupation. However, it is stated that all social workers operate within the “What-Why-How” framework, and the common mistake is to forget the “Why” component, which makes the work process highly procedural and managerial (Siobhan Maclean, 2020).

In other words, the latter element is integral for social workers to operate strategically and to stay aligned with the essential objectives instead of being distracted by unnecessary aspects of the work. Social workers should and cannot adopt the framework of the medical field, where the main emphasis is put on “What” and “How” parts, such as diagnosis and treatment, rather than addressing the “Why” part. Although they can work effectively in such settings, social work needs to be more thoroughly focused on the latter aspect because it is the most effective and plausible approach to solving the majority of problems.

In conclusion, one should be aware that diversity is an integral part of the modern world because it is both morally grounded and economically sound under the current realities of globalization. The centuries of hatred, division, and oppression need to be prevented and eliminated in order to ensure the prosperity and advancement of civilization. Social workers operate by strictly following the NASW Code of Ethics, which addresses the critical points of discrimination and marginalization, but further improvements can be made by incorporating diversity as a core value of ethical principles.

References

Bernard, R. E., & Cooperdock, E. H. G. (2018). No progress on diversity in 40 years. Nature Geoscience, 11(5), 292-295. Web.

Dobbin, F., & Kalev, A. (2016). Why diversity programs fail and what works better. Harvard Business Review. Web.

NASW. (n.d.). Code of ethics. UAF. Web.

Siobhan Maclean. (2020). What/ Why? How? A simple framework for social work practice. [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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