Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment.
As Human Resources professionals, we have an important role in creating an environment where diversity is valued. We are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the integration of diversity in our workplaces. By doing so, we will witness strengthened workplaces, enhanced employee productivity and reduced litigation risks.
The ARSHRM diversity program’s purpose is to affirm diversity awareness amongst its affiliated chapters and within the state of Arkansas. Each affiliate chapter is responsible for at least one diversity-oriented program per year.
“To celebrate diversity is to appreciate and value individual differences. SHRM strives to be the leader in promoting workplace diversity. Although the term is often used to refer to differences based on ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation, diversity encompasses an infinite range of individuals’ unique characteristics and experiences, including communication styles, physical characteristics such as height and weight, speed of learning and comprehension.”
This October as the leaves change colors and fall to the ground, allow your perspective to do the same. Let your guards down and embrace diversity. After all, October is Diversity Awareness Month. Just as there are variety of yellows, oranges, and reds outside, there are also a variety of identities, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, and disability statuses.
It is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.
October is also recognized as LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay rights movement.
Because this month is observed in many ways, please take time to reflect on aspects of cultural diversity. It is not only a chance to learn from each other’s differences; it’s also an opportunity to discover what you have in common with others and build a stronger community.
October 4 this year is recognized as National Diversity Day, a day to consciously address these areas at educational and religious institutions, as well as in the workplace and at home.
October 11 is National Coming Out Day. For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
Second Monday in October is National Indigenous People’s Day, which recognizes 500 years of resistance and the continued existence of North American Indigenous people. This is celebrated in lieu of Columbus Day.
October 14 marks the beginning of Dussehra (Dasera), a ten-day festival celebrated by Hindus to recognize Rama's victory over evil.
October 20 is Birth of the Bab, a holiday celebrated by the Baha'i recognizing the birth of the founder of the Baha'i faith.