Diversity in the Workplace, by Jerry Houston

Di-ver-si-ty. If ever there was a loaded word this is it. Diversity is the state of being diverse…variety. It means a range of different things such as, “a diversity of views.”

In the workplace, it is the act of attracting and employing people who may be different from each other and who do not all come from the same background. Differences may be those of natural origin, physical appearance, religion, education, age, gender or sexual orientation.

Diversity teaches us to be open-minded and tolerant as we learn many things from each other and share our experiences with each other. We celebrate different events and experiences together and learn different languages, cultures and so on.

So….. let’s use an example of a diverse organization….HPISolutions! Despite the small size of our leadership team here are some facts about us.

• Some of us are very tall, while others are very short.
• Some are male and some are female.
• Some of us are under 40 and others are over 70.
• Some of us are white and some are not.
• Some of us are thin and others…less thin.
• Some of us are extroverted and others are introverted.
• Some of us are Jewish, Irish, German, and even Italian!
• Some of us are from California, Illinois, Minnesota, Arizona and some from all over the world.
• All of us are passionate about what we do and accept all people for who they are.
• All of us are committed to equal opportunity for all.
• All of us learn and grow as a result of knowing each other and our uniqueness.
• All of us believe in Mutual Benefit, Respect and Trust.

Each of us has a responsibility to maintain an opening and welcoming attitude toward others in the workplace. Martin Luther King said it best that we live for the day that people will be judged by the character of their heart and not by the color of their skin. Diversity adds depth to any organization that allows for a rich fabric of a variety of talents and skills in the environment, guaranteeing the widest possible view of any situation. We value each other and our heritage and are very open and candid with each other which leads to the best interactions and solutions as we work every day to be a better organization.

Try this, if you want to realize the real diversity in your organization. Host a luncheon where everyone participates by cooking a dish to share that is based on their ethnic foundation. You will be amazed at the depth of your organizational diversity.

Have a Great Week!


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