Diversity at the workplace is something that has been spoken about often, especially in the recent past. It is being paid a lot of attention to and there have been multiple movements promoting its importance. There have been many cases in the past where people have been openly rejected from companies because of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. From a time when companies would discriminate and not take in women and people of certain races, to now where there are statutory diversity requirements, the corporate world has come a long way.
While talking about the importance of diversity, a lot of points can be brought up. To start with, it would be unfair to discriminate against someone because of their origins. These are factors that they would have no control over and rejecting someone based on such factors would be incorrect. It is important that everybody gets a fair chance at an open position in an organisation.
Apart from that more obvious perspective, a diverse workplace also helps in bringing in together people of different backgrounds, hence diversifying the thoughts, ideas, views, and opinions in the organisation. Depending on their ethnic background, a person would have been exposed to different kinds of information and experiences. This would have a direct impact in their thought process and the ideas that they come up with. In the same way, a woman’s experiences and thought process would be very different from a man’s – making her contribution at a workplace unique. Hence, it seems only logical to have people of diverse backgrounds and genders in order to become a more creative, open organisation.
Organisations are also getting equipped to ensure that diversity in the organisation is kept as a priority at all times. Leadership teams and those in the management of a company are being educated on the importance of diversity while constantly coming up with ideas on how to make the workplace friendlier to varied groups of people. The shift from being ‘tolerant’ of different people to having them in the organisation has already happened. Now the shift is happening from just ‘having’ diverse teams because of statutory requirements to really ‘wanting’ such diversity too.
The future of diversity is ‘thought diversity’. This takes the idea of people from different backgrounds having different thought processes one step further. It talks about hiring the unconventional candidate, having ‘reverse mentoring’, and leveraging unique talents of team members as measures of ensuring that there is diversity in the way different members of the team think.
While having a diverse workforce is extremely useful, contradicting opinions may not go well with many people. Having organisations like Skillwise train employees on how to be more accepting of others’ views and ideas can go a long way in increasing the efficiency of the company.