How well do you understand diversity?

18. April 2018 13:33

By: Whitney Pyle, COO/Co-Owner: JG Bowers, Inc. and Advanced Cabinet Systems

Understanding all the various dimensions of diversity and how they impact the members of your organization will help you understand your workforce and build a more cohesive team and a more successful business. When thinking about diversity in the workplace, many times people only think about the primary dimensions of diversity; however, there are several dimensions of diversity that must be considered.

The primary dimensions of diversity are race/ethnicity, age, physical abilities/qualities, sexual orientation, gender, and religious beliefs. The secondary dimensions of diversity are just as important to consider. The secondary dimensions of diversity are work background, income, marital status, military experience, geographic locale, family background, and education. There are other dimensions of diversity that we don’t always think about, but that can have a great impact on our interactions in the workplace are language and communications – not just the language a person speaks, but also a person’s preference on how they send or receive communication with one another; appearance (including tattoos, piercing, and hairstyles), food preferences, and eating habits, allergies and other medical conditions, whether a person lives by the clock or is more lackadaisical when it comes to punctuality, preferred and most productive time of the day, flexibility, personal space preferences, how much of area do they require, smoking and non-smoking. Everything that makes up a person can be considered dimensions of diversity.

Each dimension of diversity adds a layer of complexity to individual identity. Together, the dimensions of diversity give definition and meaning to people’s lives and allow people to connect with others. Connecting with others is one of the best ways to ensure the long-term success of your workforce and your business as a whole. In coming articles and blogs I’ll discuss why it’s important to understand diversity and it’s many dimensions as well as how you can leverage diversity to benefit your company and your people.

To learn more on this topic come check out the "Diversity and inclusion in our Industry" at the IWF 2018 Education Conference.


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