Race, power, & workforce diversity: awareness, perceptions, & experiences among nursing home leaders
In response to the changing demographic profile of the U.S., there is an increasing presence of minorities in the workforce. Nursing homes, in particular, are facing issues on how to manage such a diverse workforce. Furthermore, nursing homes have a bureaucratic structure with limited diversity at the administrative level, yet significant diversity at the direct-care levels. While workforce diversity (WD) is well research among large corporations, little to no information is known about the state of WD in nursing homes. This research focused on how nursing home leaders understand WD and how diversity is managed in the nursing home. The researcher interviewed 10 administrators from a community nursing home to discuss the following concepts: diversity and leadership experiences, perceptions of WD and diversity management, and influences of WD on work process. The data analysis revealed a model for how diversity manifests in the nursing home. The results revealed that while issues of race were not openly discussed in this racially diverse facility, WD in nursing homes manifests through a focus on fairness, teamwork, and trust. There were reports of subtle forms of racial discrimination across the interviews; however, higher-level administrators were less likely to be aware of these issues. There were individual and organizational level influences that effected how WD was enacting in the home. Some of the individual factors included, personal racial experiences, the leaders' understanding of WD, and their managerial philosophies. Organizational initiatives and hiring practices were among the organizational influences. The results of this research will aid in developing diversity promotion strategies and improve work-life in nursing homes.