Repost: Why You Should Care About Diversity

Umm, because it’s a big frickin’ deal.

We’ve become so divided over so many issues that we now have to make a concerted effort to get everyone in the picture.

Inclusion is an issue to take a position on, either for or against.

Politicians and movement leaders are making entire careers out of representing the Against. But, if you’re trying to get anything accomplished, to grow, to flourish… you’ve gotta get on the Inclusion Train.


First, diversity is reality

Diversity refers to the variety of differences between people; it encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more. Diversity has always existed; we’re just more aware of it now as an issue with a name.

The last time I looked around, I noticed something:

We aren’t all carbon-copies of each other. Even identical siblings have their own thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, etc.

There’s no way any of us can exist in the exact same time and place, therefore, none of us have had the exact same experiences, which brings up the next point…

Inclusion increases possibilities

Awhile back, I came across the notion that we are each a part of the universe. It was such a cool thought, to me, that we have all come into existence the way we have and that our world is so different and rich. But that’s what diversity brings to the table: possibility.

Just like our existence is so multifaceted and full of potential, our lives can be the same when we find ways to incorporate other perspectives.

I immediately relate this “big” idea to my years playing volleyball. On my college team, I was the second-shortest girl, and my tallest teammate stood an entire foot above. D’ya think we could do things the other couldn’t? I wasn’t going to put up a block like she could, and she wasn’t going to dig the ball like I could. We needed each other.

The same principle applies to the workplace.

Many companies are beginning to embrace the need for diversity in the workplace. Employers that invest in diversity training can benefit from improved employee relations, as well as an enhanced ability to interact and manage employees from several perspectives.

Inclusion appreciates differences and makes good use of them

One word comes to mind here: Maximization

In psychology, maximization is a style of decision-making characterized by seeking the best option through an exhaustive search through alternatives. From an economics standpoint, it is the short- or long-run process by which a firm determines the price and output level that returns the greatest profit.

No matter the field, maximization requires a variety of information, rather diversity of perspectives and inclusion of those perspectives in realizing extraordinary outcomes.

Good Leadership Provides Structure,
Directs Multiple inputs to Desired Outcome

What Goes Around Comes Around

Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions.

Everyone else isn’t different from us; we are all different from each other — it’s important that we all understand that concept. There is no baseline, no standard for being — all the judgment we dole out based on nothing more than physical attributes or characteristics that don’t affect us has been learned.

So, we can un-learn it.

We can train our brains to think in new ways, to see diversity in a new light, to choose to see that being different is the one thing we truly have in common. And, with that newfound commonality, we can treat each other better.

If we look at each other through inclusion lenses, we’re searching for where/how they fit in. If we’re thinking inclusively, we’re making room in our hearts, minds, and lives for others. And that’s when we start to see real change. There are scholarly articles about it and everything.

It starts with a choice.