In this day and age of globalization, the world can finally see and appreciate the power and beauty of diversity. But while technology and innovation have enabled us to connect and collaborate, we, as humans, haven’t been able to always keep up with the trends and changes. Sadly, not a few organizations I know are still ages away from the ideal workplace that we aspire to be – equal, fair, inspiring, and nurturing.
Despite all the good things that are happening to our world or our businesses, I believe that diversity can bring it to even greater heights. Today’s gifts of advanced technology and awakening awareness give us the perfect opportunity to embrace diversity and bring it into our realm.
My biggest advocacy is gender equality in the workplace and women empowerment. And that is only a small aspect of diversity.
Diversity is celebrating our differences, embracing our uniqueness, and wholeheartedly accepting those of other people’s singularities. This covers the whole spectrum of individualities – gender, culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and much more. Converging people from all minorities will create an indomitable force, one that will leverage any organization’s drive to succeed.
A diversified team, working in harmony and understanding, is strong, creatively superior, dynamic, and engaging. People from all walks of life come with diverse experiences, knowledge, ideas, viewpoints, and skills. Bringing it all to your company is a powerful force that can spell the difference between mediocre and greatness.
Diversity is not about political correctness or keeping up with the trends. It is acknowledging and respecting the beautiful idiosyncrasies of humans. And with this, we do not only embrace what is beautiful and natural, but we are also using it to forward our cause and realize our dreams.
Creating and/or transitioning to a diverse team can be tough. But, once we’ve changed our mindset and start opening our minds to the possibilities and opportunities it presents, embracing workplace diversity is not even a question.
Here are the three main factors that will foster a diverse team;
Leadership – It all boils down to the company leadership. We need business leaders who will support and commit to the diversity movement. We need CEOs who will create policies and measures that will allow everyone in the team to shine and bring their best selves to the table. And managers who will ensure that those policies and measures are observed. This is not about male or female leader, it’s about a leader creating workplace decisions that will allow diversity/equality to work in everyone’s favor.
Equality – It is high time we address the parity issues in the workplace. Wage gaps, gender prejudice, and character profiling should stop. We cannot continue giving men higher wages just because they are males. We must stop attaching competences to the color of our skin or our religious affiliations. Everyone should have an opportunity equal to everyone else.
Diverse Recruitment Team – These are the people who are actually forming your team. It could be just you, your partner, or an entire HR team, the recruitment team are crucial to creating a diverse team. People will tend to prefer those who look, think, and operate like them, and without the awareness and sensitivity to the issue, they will follow their instinct. You can start by creating proper guidelines and procedures on how to attract and retain the best talents without any prejudices other than their professional profile.
To make an impact, go for at least 20% percent minority representation. One woman in a team of ten will make a go-to secretary, two women will make a duo to reckon with.
If we are all the same, we would be dispensable and meaningless. We are all the same and all different at the same time. It’s time we embrace and celebrate that!
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