Diversity in Abercrombie & Fitch
Defining diversity, it is any dimension which can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another. It is also the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. Diversity can be branched out into three different categories such as levels of diversity – organisational and individual, forms of diversity – external and internal and types of diversity – gender, age, etc.
In a good way, diversity can benefit individuals in the way that one can learn to interact with others in meaningful ways and also learn new things from each other. On the other hand, diversity can also be a cause of problems when people deal things with it incorrectly. As we look in depth into diversity issues found at a workplace, there are four different types of issues that companies always trigger upon and they are social, personal, disability and work issues. From the article I have found on Abercrombie & Fitch, there are two main diversity issues found in Abercrombie & Fitch and they are both social and personal issues.
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The main sub-issue under social issue will be race and under personal issue will be appearance. The reason towards why Abercrombie & Fitch has these two diversity issues is because according to the article, it states that Abercrombie & Fitch hires only young and attractive salespeople based on race whom mostly are white Americans. One of the salesperson whom recently lost his job at Abercrombie & Fitch even commented that, “the greeters and the people that worked in the in-season clothing, most of them were white, if not all of them were white.
The people that worked in the stockroom, where nobody sees them, were mostly Asian American, Filipino, Mexican, Latino. ” So how exactly had these two main diversity issues affected the working environment in Abercrombie & Fitch? Looking at the way how Abercrombie & Fitch employs salespeople by focusing highly on people’s appearance and race, this certainly destroys every non-white, average Joes’ and plain Jane’s opportunity to be employed.
According to the article, a former salesperson commented that the store is dominated by Caucasians whom are skinny and tall, have blue eyes and blonde hair and this proofs that the store do not hire any other races such as African or Asian Americans. This certainly deals unfairness to people who are not white and just as average looking, denying them a chance to work at any of the hundred stores across the country. However, even though Abercrombie & Fitch do employ other races, they are often appointed to do only the cleaning of the stores at closed hours and stocking up of goods whereby they do not really face customers upfront.
Besides that, Abercrombie & Fitch has also committed a racial discrimination in their company whereby they favour only white people to have good positions. In order to cope with these situations, World Organisation for Human Rights USA has to step in and introduce a training and development program for Abercrombie & Fitch to follow. This includes by setting certain rules for them to follow when they are doing staffs employment or rising ranks of employees working there. Such as by increasing the number of other races employees and also giving them the opportunity to uphold higher working positions in the company.
Communication is also an important point to look out for in order to make sure that racial or other discriminations are being avoided. However, Abercrombie & Fitch has made a big mistake in terms of that. One ex-employee commented that he had lost his job after resuming for work from his Christmas break as he was being told that there were too many Filipinos. Hence, being a Filipino, he was denied for work just for that. This type of discrimination will tend to be a direct racial discrimination whereby it is easy to be recognised and noticed.
Also, Abercrombie & Fitch has discriminated employees in terms of their appearance whereby two of the store’s employees, one who was an ex-model, commented that corporate representatives would visit the store to spot any staffs who did not reach his standards or expectations. If there are any, they would cut their pay for that. Besides focusing on how the diversity issues affect a working environment, Abercrombie & Fitch has also done a racial discrimination against other races in terms of the product they sell.
One example will be that last year, they sold a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Two Wongs can make it White. ’ This has caused much outrage amongst Asian Americans. In conclusion, I think that Abercrombie & Fitch should reduce their aim of recruiting employees in terms of appearance from races. By doing that, they will certainly be stereotyping as they think that only white people are good looking whereby not giving people of other races a chance to be part of the company.
By being an ‘all-white’ apparel company, not only did Abercrombie & Fitch have caused much dismay under the working environment, this will eventually lead to disagreement among many customers. As they think that what Abercrombie & Fitch did was unfair and unlawful, they would not want to shop at a store with such racial discrimination issues. Therefore, if Abercrombie & Fitch do not want to lose their businesses, they would have to eradicate the two main diversity issues.