What language do you speak? What is your religion? What holidays do you celebrate? What is your racial identification? What is your ethnic identity? What is your culture? Why is cultural diversity so important?
Our culture is what shapes us, it shapes our behaviour and our identity. Culture is our way of living, it refers to the shared language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviours, and material objects that are passed down from one generation to the next.
Cultural diversity, which otherwise is referred to as multiculturalism, represents a large system of beliefs that respects and encourages contributions from all the different groups making up an organization. In the world of business, cultural diversity is an important component of implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives. In fact, you can make the point that cultural diversity should be at the top of priorities for implementing a comprehensive diversity and inclusion program.
7 Essential Actions for Cultural Diversity Initiatives
Specializing in creating cultural diversity initiatives in the workplace, sociologist Dr. Caleb Rosado lists seven essential actions that make multiculturalism work for a wide variety of organizations.
- Recognize the presence of different cultures in the workplace
- Acknowledge the importance of different cultural perspectives
- Respect the differences offered by each culture
- Encourage the contributions from every cultural group
- Value what other cultures offer an organization
- Celebrate cultural differences
- Empower every member of an organization to achieve optimal performance
Although Dr. Caleb did not mention following the seven steps in the order listed above, the sequence of seven essential actions starting from recognition and running to empowerment follow a logical order. You cannot expect to celebrate and empower cultural diversity, without first recognizing diverse cultures and acknowledging the importance of each cultural perspective.
How Cultural Diversity can be beneficial for my organization?
Multiculturalism initiatives should not be created simply to comply with federal guidelines that clearly stipulate discrimination based on any demographic issues is considered unlawful. There are many benefits to multiculturalism in the workplace, starting with enhancing the bottom line.
Here we list some of the most contrasted benefits that multiculturalism can bring to organizations;
- Increase in profits
- Enhanced creativity
- Reduction of the employee turnover
- Positive brand reputation
- Attraction of talent
You can find the full article here.