Since America is a multicultural society, most of its organizations or companies have a multicultural workforce. This paper seeks to evaluate the demographics of the various racial or ethnic groups in America. The stereotypes associated with the various ethnic groups in America will also be highlighted, alongside the importance of a multicultural labor force.
Racial Groups in America
Native Americans are the indigenous communities that live in North America. They are also referred to as American Indians. The Native Americans were colonized by the Europeans in the 15th century, thereby influencing their culture. According to the 2000 census, the population of Native Americans was estimated to be 4.1 million (Huins & Steckel, 2009). Thus, they represented 1.5% of the total population. The number of Native Americans has, however, increased since 2000. The beliefs, attitudes, and customs of Native Americans are rooted in their culture. They have reverence for nature, and a strong belief in the sanctity of live. I admire the Native Americans for their peaceful coexistence with other Americans, and their concern for nature.
These are citizens of America who trace their ancestry, at least partially, to the native tribes of Sub-Saharan Africa. The African Americans were brought to the US through slavery. They later became American citizens after the abolition of slavery. The population of African Americans is estimated to be 12.9% of the total population (Huins & Steckel, 2009). Most African Americans live in the southern part of the country. The customs and attitudes of African Americans include strong family ties, and religious beliefs. African Americans are admired for their determination to succeed in life. Despite being segregated, and discriminated for long, they have since improved their socio-economic status significantly.
Hispanic Americans are American citizens whose ancestries can be traced to the Hispanic states of Latin America. Due to their racial diversity, Hispanic Americans are considered to be an ethnic group rather than a race. Most of them migrated to America in search of better life opportunities. The population of Hispanic Americans is estimated to be 50.5 million, which is equal to 16.3% of the total population. The most valued customs and attitudes of the Hispanics include emphasis on family values, etiquette, rituals and religion. The family is the basic social unit and source of help. They tend to prefer formal treatment of each other. Most of the Hispanics are Roman Catholics. The Hispanic Americans are respected for their hospitality, and respect for others.
Muslim Americans are US citizens who confess the Muslim faith or whose ancestry can be traced to the Arab world (Huins & Steckel, 2009). Muslim Americans are also racially diverse, with most of them having African origins. The Muslim Americans moved to America through formal migration. There are about seven million Muslim Americans in the US. This means that they account for 2.2% of the total population (Huins & Steckel, 2009). Muslim Americans have strong religious beliefs (Islam). Their customs include rituals associated with Islam such as praying at specific times of the day. They are admired for their ability to preserve, and practice the cultural values, and norms that are central to their faith. This means that Muslim Americans can not, easily, deviate from what they consider to be right.
Asian Americans are those who trace their ancestry to Asia. Most of them migrated to America from various parts of Asia such as Far East, India, China, and Korea. The Asian Americans account for 5.6% of the total US population. Due to their diverse social backgrounds, the Asian Americans have varying employment, as well as, settlement patterns in USA. Similarly, their customs, and attitudes vary due to their diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Nonetheless, Asian Americans are religious people who belong to the major Asian religious groups such as Muslim, Hinduism and Buddhism. The most admirable attribute of Asian Americans is their prowess in business and professionalism.
These are Americans who migrated from Japan. They are among the dominant Asian American communities in USA. Their population is estimated to be 1.2 million. Most Japanese Americans live in California, Hawaii, Washington, and Illinois. The Japanese American’s customs and attitudes are associated with discipline and excellence. They strive to excel in everything they do. Consequently, they have the best educational qualifications, especially, in math and sciences. The Japanese Americans are, thus, admired for their consistent contribution to science and technology through innovation.
Importance of a Multicultural Labor Force
First, a multicultural labor force enables the organization to access diverse talent, and skills which help it to increase its competitiveness (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). The various ethnic or racial groups in America have always been stereotyped in regard to their capabilities. The Japanese Americans have been stereotyped as good scientists, while Asian Americans and Hispanics have been stereotyped as business magnets. Muslim Americans and African Americans have been stereotyped as violent and unskilled. However, these stereotypes are not accurate since they are based on biased generalizations. This is because at least each and every ethnic or racial group has a substantial number of highly skilled and disciplined members. Similarly, there are unruly and poorly skilled individuals in every racial group. However, due to variations in skills and attitudes toward work among each racial group, organizations will benefit from diverse talent in a multicultural labor force.
Second, a multicultural labor force promotes cooperation in an organization. Since various racial groups have different customs and attitudes, one group can not dominate the others at the workplace. In most cases, a strong organizational culture can be developed by reinforcing each group’s cultural practices that promote high productivity (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). The strong organizational culture will, thus, enhance cooperation among workers. A strong and effective organizational culture can only be developed by first employing people from diverse backgrounds, and then taking advantage of the synergies associated with their diverse socio-cultural experiences.
Finally, a multicultural labor force helps in creating a positive image for the organization (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). In America, most organizations have lost their rapport with communities due to racial discrimination. The Native Americans, African Americans, and Muslim Americans have always been prejudiced and discriminated on various social fronts. They are considered to be low class members of the society. Consequently, they hardly get equal treatment, and employment opportunities as their European American counterparts. Discrimination and prejudice is, however, low among the Hispanics, Japanese Americans, and Asian Americans. Discrimination has had a negative impact on the competitiveness of most organizations in America, especially, in the 21st century. In some cases, organizations which have been accused of discrimination face overt resistance from communities as they attempt to expand their operations. Thus, employing members of various racial or ethnic groups help organizations to create a good image in the society.