We encounter diversity in business on a daily basis whether we chose to acknowledge it or not. “Human diversity has been popularly understood to refer to differences of color, ethnic origin, gender, sexual or religious preferences, age, and disabilities,” (Moran & Harris, p.157) In business it also extends to education, work experience, and specialties in the work field.
In many instances this is a very beneficial thing in that it offers the opportunity for more ideas to be brought to a discussion project. The company that I work for now actually looks for this on projects. When there is a project planned, they look for a number of people with all different backgrounds and specialties to serve on the team. Normally there will be a team leader who has a background in the area of the project, but from there, there will be a service center manager, operations supervisor, a driver, a dockworker, and a customer service specialist all selected for the team. The reasoning behind the selection is all the different ideas that can be brought to the table based on their perspective of the problem. Diversity plays a huge role in this and is actually what drives this process.
The military is a prime example of diversity. You have all races, genders, and backgrounds brought together to do a job. No matter what the off the job issues are, when it comes time to work, it is done the same way no matter who is doing it. Being a military brat, I experienced it first hand. The difference was, we did not see it as diversity. We all knew who was black, white, Hispanic, or Asian, but that did not matter. There is a different feeling and sentiment when it comes to military kids. We did not see a color or background, we just saw people who were just like us. We made friends quickly because you knew people were only going to be around for two to three years and then they would be transferred somewhere else. Many times you never saw these people again, but you still consider them friends and can pick up a conversation with them like it was yesterday.
Diversity is all around us. The key is figuring out how it actually helps us and adds to our lives and business practices versus how it hinders and hold us back.
Moran, R., & Harris , P. (2011). Managing cultural differences global leadership strategies for cross-cultural business success (8th ed.). Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.