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Diversity 101

By Experience

Diversity includes all characteristics and experiences that define each of us as individuals.

 

Diversity can and should benefit everyone in the organization.

 

What is Diversity?

Diversity includes all characteristics and experiences that define each of us as individuals. Diversity includes the entire spectrum of primary dimensions of an individual, including Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Religion, Disability, and Sexual orientation.??

The?goal?of diversity is?to see that everyone within an organization has the opportunity to succeed and thrive in the workplace.

Diversity includes You

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. It's important to?recognize that we're all unique human beings and?diversity has to do with all of us.

Secondary dimensions to diversity?commonly include: communication style, work style, organizational role/level, economic status, and geographic origin (e.g., East, Midwest, South). It is a simple fact that each of us possesses unique qualities along each of these dimensions.

At the very essence of diversity?is the question of how can a business/employer tap into the power?of a unique?individual and channel those assets?into the workplace for the greater good of all. Diversity can and should benefit everyone in the organization.

New Markets, New Workforce

There was a time when companies could?hire people who all looked alike,?had one type of customer, and could earn a profit from that?limited scale. Those days are over. Today's world wide marketplace has encouraged companies to expand into new?areas. This expansion has provided opportunities for a multicultural workforce to emerge.?? It's estimated that 25% of US sales now?originate overseas. Smart companies are investing resources in creating workforces filled with cultures that reflect this international marketplace. Hiring employees that reflect?target customers can?give businesses a competitive advantage. Companies are?finding that qualified?people of all backgrounds are an asset to businesses?reaching out to new nontraditional markets. ?

Diversity Makes Dollars and Sense

Diversity is something more than a moral imperative or a business necessity:?it?can be a?business opportunity. Aligning diversity with the mission and business of the organization increases employee satisfaction and retention; improves competitiveness and productivity; increases responsiveness; and adds value to the customer.?Providing opportunities for people of all backgrounds is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint, but it's also great for business too.

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