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Managing diversity in the workplace is a subject that has gained increased attention among managers during the last two decades After all the impact of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs on the nations work force is undeniable Women and minorities were the first to dramatically alter the face of the economic mainstream while gays persons with disabilities and senior citizens followed not far behind The result is a diverse American labor force representing a microcosm of our society - yet one that continues to struggle with its identity Diversity as a social condition is not new to the US Founded by immigrants the nation has always been a merger of cultures and as such has undergone periods of discomfort as the worlds melting pot In the 1850s for example Chinese and Irish laborers were brought over to lay the tracks for the transcontinental railroad which raised the anger of those who had arrived a hundred years earlier HistoryChannelcom At the turn of the century waves of immigrants arrived on American shores from Southern and Eastern Europe at a rate of a million a year These unprecedented numbers caused American Federation of Labor president Samuel Gompers to complain in 1907 Cheap labor ignorant labor takes our jobs and cuts our wages Gompes AFL Today men women and families from Southeast Asia Latin America Middle East and the Caribbean leave economic and political turmoil behind in hopes that America will provide a more secure future And these immigrants face many of the same obstacles as their predecessors once they arrive Furthermore due to tight labor market and thriving information technology industry many companies import labor from abroad Skilled professionals from Canada Australia Europe Asia and Middle East arrive by the thousands to work for emerging technology companies New Immigration laws and quotas make it easier for technically skilled professionals to work in the US The Americans with Disabilities Act also made it possible for
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