Wednesday, May 16, 2012
In college, I have been exposed to so many different types of people. This has helped me realize the importance of having diversity in our communities. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. I think this is an important outlook to take into the workplace.
The Multicultural Advantage website discusses how having a diverse workplace adds to the variety of points of view. The collaboration of differing viewpoints can expand your knowledge and foster your creativity. I have found this to be so true, especially when working in groups or as a team. Having everyone share their ideas helps build new ideas off of old ones.
Diversity goes beyond just sharing ideas. I found a neat story on Insperity, a business performance site, about one man's point of view:
A Bronx nursing home held a diversity-sensitivity workshop. Bruce Hurwitz was one of the participants that was called on to discuss the statement: "Race matters in interpersonal relations." Hurwitz was the only one that responded that race mattered to him. His coworkers did not understand why Hurwitz would say such a thing. Hurwitz explained, "If race doesn’t matter, then race means nothing; there is no Asian history, there is no Hispanic history, there is no African-American history, there is no Muslim history, and none of you has any special culture. If you were to say that about me, I’d be highly offended and consider you to be anti-Semitic."
I think that giving recognition to diversity in the workplace is a good way to help promote and expand diversity within other companies. There have been several PRSA chapters that have won awards for their efforts to incorporate diversity into their companies. It can be as simple as the Miami Chapter's wine tasting and professional development workshop. The Chapter recognized the need to incorporate the Hispanic community in the professional world of public relations and this event fostered this notion.
Kaiser Permanente has also been recognized on several occasions for its effort to create a diverse workplace. Some of the places they were recognized by are DiversityInc., the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Black Collegian magazine, Asian Enterprise magazine, Workforce Management magazine, Latina Style magazine and The California Diversity Council. Kaiser has 181,000 employees and 74 percent are female and 56 percent are people of color.
It is inspiring to see so many workplaces recognized for their efforts in creating diversity. I love hearing how people have overcome negative attitudes toward diversity and grow from their experiences. It helps me strive to work at a place that has a diverse work force.