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Diversity? Diversity. DIVERSITY!

At work we hear this word A LOT! I always thought they meant diversity as in ethnicity. But I did a little research and I’d like to share with you what I found out. I was only partly correct. I admit, I was wrong. So, Let me share with you what I learned.

First, I’d like to give you the definition of Diverse/Diversity.

Diverse
differing from one another :
composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities

di·ver·si·ty
dəˈvərsədē,dīˈvərsədē/
noun
the state of being diverse; variety.
“there was considerable diversity in the style of the reports”
a range of different things.
plural noun: diversities

So, Why does Diversity Matter?

Today’s workforce and marketplace is a dynamic mix of different cultures, ages, races, lifestyles, genders and more.
Acknowledging and leveraging similarities and differences.
The way we work with people who have different experiences or backgrounds, how receptive we are to different ideas, and It’s the right thing to do

So just based on this alone you can see how being with different people may strengthen your own values, ideas and/or creativity.

According to: (my internet source) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/

The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. In the U.S., where the dialogue of inclusion is relatively advanced, even the mention of the word “diversity” can lead to anxiety and conflict….
(yes even myself. I got myself all worked up thinking that Mexicans, Blacks, Purples, etc, were more important to my work than the people themselves. I didn’t think of it this way. It continues…)

The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision-making and problem solving. Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion I draw from decades of research from organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographer.

It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, non routine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way—yet the science shows that it does.
This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take the effort.

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There you have it. Or for myself. Being diverse is great!
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not prejudiced by any means. I have black nieces and nephews, I have a Mexican daughter-in-law (who gave me WHITE grandchildren, but I don’t hold that against her. Lol). I have gay/lesbian friends. I have a black lab, a Brittney/Springer spaniel, a part Siamese cat and a black and white mutt cat. I’m not prejudice by any means.

I was worried that my work and others around were trying to make us all different, keep us all different to build a drift/wall between us to keep us …. “pitting against each other”? “competing” against one another… when in reality, we all should be working together. I strongly believe that talking to others can inspire me to be creative.

I crochet, I write and I can’t always do it without discussing it, seeing it or being asked to do it first.

So the next time, someone mentions diversity to you.. tell them we are all diverse. We all bring something to the table, we may not know what at the time, but eventually, it’ll come out.