I am so lucky that part if my work is based on one of my passions and that is educating people and organizations about the beauty of Cultural Diversity and how can we put it work for us instead of against us, by effective Cultural training.
One of the main obstacles in discussions surrounding diversity is its very own definition. “Diversity” includes all characteristics and experiences that define each of us as individuals.“ The concept of diversity is based on individual acceptance and respect for each other’s background, it is understanding that individuals are different and unique and that is what makes them fascinating!
Cultural Diversity is not “Affirmative Action”. Cultural diversity acknowledges the existence of broad cultural groups within a culture. It includes but not limited to:
- Religion/ practices
- Family/ views
- Political views
- Sexual Orientation
- Communication & Work Style (Corporate Culture)
- Economic Status
Diversity is considered to be inclusive of everyone It is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives
- A common misconception about diversity is that only certain persons or groups are included under its umbrella, when in fact, exactly the opposite is true. Diversity includes the entire spectrum of each one of us as individuals. It is a simple fact that each of us possesses unique qualities and values; it has been proven that when recognized and valued, diversity enhances individual productivity, organizational effectiveness, and sustained competitiveness.
- In order “to maximize the utilization of its human capital, organizations must go beyond merely creating a more diverse workplace. Once there, the value of having diverse employees must be recognized.”
- Diversity should be viewed as more than merely the numerical representation of certain groups to satisfy the “affirmative Action’. It is time for a efficient application of diversity concepts to the business of the organization. Aligning diversity with the mission and business of the organization will increase employee satisfaction loyalty and retention; improve competitiveness and productivity; and adds value to the customer
Diversity should be viewed as a business opportunity, rather than a hamper. Building upon differences among the Human Resources & team members can strengthen the bonds formed with clients and customers throughout the world. Cultural diversity in the workplace enables businesses to serve a broader base of clients with ease.
Advances in technology and the advent of a global economy bring the people of the world closer together than ever before. Organizations that can develop and employ the necessary policies and procedures to do this will maintain a competitive advantage among their counterparts and increase their effectiveness.
But, diversity can also be grounds for making wrong assumptions about another person’s culture and commit to grave mistakes that could be avoided provided knowing these differences beforehand and this is why it is so important to be educated about Cultural Diversities
We can start facilitating Cultural Diversity by reaching out to each other, respect each other, ask polite, decent questions and learn from each other, the world would be a better place!