Workplace Diversity and How It Can Enrich Your Job

Workplace diversity  promotes enrichment and acceptance of all people and cultures. The new workplace is a broad, cosmopolitan workforce, with multiple perspectives and diverse skills.

The history of diversity in the workplace

The story of diversity in the workplace is the story of the “Melting Pot” era of the United States. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries huge numbers of immigrants produced a new society of many cultures. As a result, we had the biggest industrial society and global economy in history. The functional reality of the United States was based on this form of workplace diversity. The “nation of immigrants” worked together and grew together. It transformed America from a comparatively tiny nation to its modern form, in the process.

By the end of the First World War, a mere decade since the height of the Melting Pot era, the United States had easily overtaken Europe as the world’s industrial base. This big, diversified, reinvented nation had begun to spread its diversity around the world through its culture. The United States had changed from a small, fragmented, economy to a giant economical power.

Many other countries have had similar experiences. Australia, after the Second World War, doubled and then tripled its population through immigration. By the 1980s it transformed its economy entirely, multiplying its GDP many times in the process. Australia is now one of the most multicultural nations in the world, with people from every corner of the earth.

Social functions of the diversified workplace

The workplace is one of the best, most accurate reflections of a society. The multicultural work environment is an effective destroyer of the ridiculous, hopelessly inaccurate stereotypes and prejudices of the past. In the workplace, you work with real people, not an image generated by old movies and rhetoric. That produces a very much clearer perception of groups of people, and makes them and their cultures far more understandable.

It’s very rare not to strike up several friendships in any workplace, and these friendships are based on mutual situations, issues and goals. The workplace acts as a bonding agent, creating relationships, and removing the divides created by the old ignorance and incomprehension.

The workplace also removes the artificial barriers created by stereotypes and insular cultures. The more diverse the workplace, the more effectively the barriers are removed. Reality takes over in the work environment, and what matters is competence and reliability, not superficial evaluations of other human beings. You appreciate the good workers and the effective operators, the efficient people and the experts.

Workplace diversity is changing the world with  “globalization.” The old days of tunnel vision, misinterpretation and cultural insensitivity are no longer apparent in many companies.