Global Diversity Awareness Month occurs every October and serves as a reminder of not only the importance of noticing and appreciating diversity, but the positive impact that it promotes within society.
What do you picture when you think of diversity? Do you picture different color skin tones? Different cultures? Different values or opinions? Diversity can be all of these things. Simply put, diversity can be defined as the range of human differences. So, that includes all of the above and more. It is the difference in siblings eating different foods, it is difference in political opinion, and in everyday lifestyle. Differences between people create diversity.
Importance of a Diverse Workforce
At first glance, you might think that more differences will create conflict. You might think that it would be better to have people that have the same views, values, and opinions, especially when working together. That will make things go smoother, right? Maybe in some ways, but here’s what won’t happen:
If you neglect to hire a diverse workforce, you are missing the opportunity to acknowledge and understand cultural differences. Cultural awareness is so important for a number of reasons; one of the most important ones in business being the understanding of different markets. In order to sell your product or service to a certain group of people, you need to be able to understand them and market your product or service in a way that they can connect with it. If you have no sense of cultural awareness, you will struggle marketing to any cultures other than your own.
“Diversity to me is the ability for differences to coexist together, with some type of mutual understanding or acceptance present.” -TPG Team Member
Creativity and Innovation
Our world has evolved into what it is today because of the fact that diversity drives creativity and innovation. Diversity helps to prevent groupthink, which is the idea that a group’s consensus outweighs individual thoughts and ideas. In a diverse world, we come from different backgrounds and life experiences that give us a different viewpoint on ideas and processes. The company Apple serves as a great example of this. Did you know it was founded by college dropouts? Low and behold, they changed the way we all view computers, making them easily accessible and usable to the average person.
“Diversity is important because it enhances creativity. Without it everything would be the same.” -TPG Team Member
In a similar sense, the differences that make us who we are enable us to effectively and strategically solve problems together. If you have a group of similar-minded people trying to solve a problem, you may not be able to think of multiple solutions. On the other hand, if you have a group of people that think differently, coming from different life experiences, the problem at hand will be attacked from different angles. Others will propose solutions and ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
“Diversity to me means unity. Allowing people from different ethnicities and different religion’s to come together and contribute in life’s challenges. Learning how to work with each other aside from their differences and come together as one.” -TPG Team Member
Opportunities for Growth
A diverse workforce will help encourage professional and personal growth for this same reason. Differences in things such as opinions, values, or life experiences help us grasp a better understanding of the world and people around us. We have opportunities to gain knowledge, wisdom, and skills from others that don’t necessarily look, think, or live like we do. Professionally, we often face opposing opinions and learn to navigate leadership and teamwork over a team that thinks differently.
“Diversity is the connection of all, for we are all the same in our anatomy physically, and mentally we are trying to survive the flow of life.” -TPG Team Member
We asked our internal staff, “What does diversity mean to you?” Now we’d like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments!