How Does Your Company or Organization View Diversity?

September 5, 2009 by
Filed under: Culture and Diversity 

diversityABC How Does Your Company or Organization View Diversity?It’s funny but unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, it seems as though the words diver­sity and diver­sity aware­ness have been thrown around a lot by orga­ni­za­tions. Many of them, both for profit and non-profit, have focused their atten­tion on diver­sity and have made a strong argu­ment as to the impor­tance of hav­ing a diverse work­force who under­stands diver­sity and has a min­i­mal level of diver­sity awareness.

What I find inter­est­ing is that many, in an attempt to ensure that their orga­ni­za­tion embraces diver­sity, go the route of hav­ing their per­son­nel take diver­sity courses cov­er­ing the dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple that exist in the world. Many of these same courses spend much of their time going over the aspects of either the dif­fer­ent cul­tures or the dif­fer­ent lifestyles that cus­tomers or fel­low work­ers may have. They have a ten­dency of sim­ply focus­ing on tol­er­ance or “leav­ing your biases at the door” when com­ing into work. Treat­ing every­one as equals is impor­tant, but there is a more impor­tant aspect to diver­sity that many orga­ni­za­tions are com­pletely miss­ing the boat on! 

One of the most impor­tant aspects and strengths of diver­sity is the dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives a per­son or group may have about an issue or prob­lem. I’ve found that peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cul­tures and dif­fer­ent back­grounds have a ten­dency to ana­lyze prob­lems in dif­fer­ent ways. This is one of the main essences and beau­ties of diver­sity. Hav­ing a diverse group enables an orga­ni­za­tion to address the same prob­lem they may be fac­ing from many dif­fer­ent angles.

It is the dif­fer­ences of opin­ion, the dif­fer­ences of per­spec­tive from a diverse inter­nal pop­u­la­tion that gives a group or orga­ni­za­tion a strong advan­tage against a com­peti­tor. If an orga­ni­za­tion or com­pany is made up of peo­ple who fall into many of the same types of social, eth­nic or lifestyle groups, then they may be at a disadvantage.

Have you ever found your­self being forced to re-think the way you address an issue or ques­tion sim­ply because some­one else is address­ing the same prob­lem in a dif­fer­ent way than you would have?

 How Does Your Company or Organization View Diversity?


5 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours on How Does Your Company or Organization View Diversity?

  1. Joan Donner on Sun, 13th Sep 2009 5:54 pm
  2. It has def­i­nitely been a learn­ing for me and I have being forced to re-think the way I address an issue or ques­tion sim­ply because some­one else is address­ing the same prob­lem in a dif­fer­ent way.

    I believe that Diver­sity is a dynamic state in which dif­fer­ences are val­ued, and is played out when peo­ple with a vari­ety of back­grounds actively par­tic­i­pate at all lev­els of the business.

    How­ever, in order to ensure that the com­pany has the right type of cul­ture to sup­port this con­cept, diver­sity must be inte­grated into the nor­mal way of doing business.

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  3. Nara on Sun, 4th Oct 2009 2:10 pm
  4. Great insights, Gil. The future of diver­sity is mak­ing it intrin­sic part of any orga­ni­za­tion. Many com­pa­nies lead­ers are start­ing to under­stand it. There are many aspects involved with “accul­tur­a­tion” (or inte­gra­tion) of diver­sity. It is a process but it has unfolded already…

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  5. Brian on Wed, 8th Dec 2010 10:46 pm
  6. Well I don’t have a com­pany, but i have been in orga­ni­za­tions. I believe that most com­pa­nies need to take a sec­ond look into diver­sity. Many peo­ple don’t like to work with peo­ple but they are doing it because they have too. If a com­pa­nies spent more time talk­ing about diver­sity, then the com­pany would be a more pro­duc­tive one. Com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions shouldn’t be the only one to look into diver­sity, every­one and every­where should also.

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Gil Pizano on Sun, 12th Dec 2010 1:51 am
  8. Good Points Brian! Thanks for shar­ing these impor­tant points.

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