What does diversity mean to you? As we grow, we come to the realization that the world is full of people from all walks of life. As you grow in a family, you will become comfortable with them.
That’s because your family has always been there for you, and for the most part, your family’s appearance may look similar to you. However, as you grow up and get out into the world, you will realize that things are quite different.
People don’t look the same, and they don’t talk the same. They are raised in different cultures and have different backgrounds, and they also look different. Diversity, then, is just an appreciation of the variety of humanity.
What Does it Mean?
For many people, diversity simply means having the ability to learn from people from different walks of life. It’s about having the option of being exposed to different cultures and people from all walks of life.
Diversity could mean getting in touch with people from different religious backgrounds, races, or ethnic cultures. Diversity is not just about challenging people to tolerate others around them, but it’s about learning from them.
Every person that you meet in your life will have a story to tell you. The life experiences that they have been through are probably completely different from yours, and this is what diversity is all about.
The Difference in Cultures
Cultures and beliefs vary wildly from one part of the world to another. Diversity doesn’t just mean that you acknowledge that these differences exist. Diversity challenges you to respect them and learn from them.
It is all about keeping an open mind. Even in a single culture, there is no uniform set of customs or beliefs that are talked about. There’s a massive difference in the way people learn about things.
A simple way to do this is by going to your neighbor’s house and talking to them about life in their house when they were growing up. While there will be a few similarities, you will realize that they grew up very differently from you, even if the two of you grew up in the same neighborhood.
What About Business Leaders?
One of the main components of diversity focuses on cultural intelligence. If you take a look at modern business trends, you will realize that diversity plays an incredibly important role in this day and age.
Business leaders are increasingly looking at ways to add more diversity into their workforce. In fact, there are now strict rules and regulations that focus on incorporating diversity in the modern workplace.
For business leaders, diversity simply means to recognize that people from different backgrounds have a unique way of looking at problems. The same problem can be solved in a very different manner by a diverse group of people.
Advantages to Business
Having a diverse group of people in the business workforce could lead to a host of benefits to the company itself. There are now many companies that are embracing the concept of diversity in a very big way, and making wholescale changes to their workforce to incorporate diversity across all tiers.
Why are they doing this? The answer is simple: diversity plays a critical role in advancing human relations and also offers a variety of benefits to your company.
For one thing, diversity increases the goodwill of your company. Prejudicial thoughts are now a matter of the past, and people are looking at ways to make the workplace more inclusive.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating a diverse environment across the board. As more and more people realize that you only hire on merit and not based on religion or race or any other factor, the goodwill of your company will automatically increase.
Another reason why diversity is so important in the workplace is because it leads to higher productivity. People are willing to work harder for an employer when they know that they are respected in the workplace.
Diversity, as mentioned before, requires you to respect their cultural and racial backgrounds, and look past their color to embrace who they really are as a person. Diversity automatically increases the productivity of the workforce, and this leads to a cascading effect of higher benefits.
Innovation and Product Development
One of the biggest effects of diversity and inclusivity in the modern workplace is in product development and innovation. Companies such as Coca-Cola, which spend millions on marketing across the globe, have embraced diversity in a big way.
It’s one of the reasons why they run ads that focus on cultural values in different parts of the globe. For instance, an ad played out in the United Kingdom is probably not the same as the one played out in Thailand. Similarly, the same ad will probably not be played out in Canada, for instance.
Ideas become more unique and different when you have people from different backgrounds focusing on them.
Did you know that there are private companies and coaches that are now offering diversity training? Since diversity is now becoming such a widely embraced concept, diversity training is important to allow modern workplaces to adapt.
Diversity training focuses on telling people how to embrace each other and how to get past the cultural divides and embrace humans as they are. It’s about respecting the beliefs of those around you and being aware of everyday things and mannerisms we use that might be offensive to others.
An Inclusive Environment
There are no downsides to diversity: it only helps people grow. Companies can benefit from it, and they are already embracing it in a big way. However, there are a few minorities that focus on staying as exclusive as possible.
This is often the case with right-wing politics, and something that is fast going out of date. It is becoming more and more clear that racism is something that needs to be rooted out of society, and there are active steps being taken across all mediums to spread awareness and reduce racism.
While it will take a long while to go away, humanity as a whole is on the right track. It is becoming more and more clear that diversity is the future and companies or organizations that fail to adopt are going to be left behind.
Creating an inclusive environment is of critical importance, not just for us, but also for our future generations. Those who instill hate in their children are becoming less and less, and it won’t be long before they are a very small minority.
Diversity, at the end of the day, is about appreciating all forms of mankind. There are people who live in different parts of the globe, and diversity simply asks that you respect their views and their cultural beliefs. It is about focusing on them, instead of how they look, and learning from what they have to offer.