Diversity and Inclusion
Cultural diversity refers to the existence of various kinds of people with different cultures within a given shared environment. Cultural diversity can be looked at from various points of references. This in most cases would come on the basis of interaction and sharing of common goals by people of different cultural backgrounds (Cooley & McEwan, 2004, p.37). Cultural diversity identifies differences based on behaviour and guided by ethnic based backgrounds, which gives individuals a sense of belonging to a given group. This means that my behaviour can be measured based on the group I identify with them all the time I carry out my daily activities. Religious backgrounds can also provide a platform with which cultural identity of a person can be determined.
As a way of cultural classification, I identify with the white race. My behaviour and culture can be identified and compared by referring to the white race in order to come to a conclusion of how am expected to behave. Culture can also be measured based on the geographical boundary and the laws that guide the people in that given location (Cooley &McEwan, 2004, p.44). For instance, as an American, my culture can be looked at based on how Americans behaviour. In doing this, cultural differences would be identified by comparing my behaviour with that of another country let us say Japan or Korea.
As an American, a certain character makes us be grouped together as part of the American culture. For instance, the issues to do with communication would vary between an American and a Briton. Some countries do not call for verbal communication that has a communicator looking directly at a person they are talking with (Özbilgin, 2009, p.72). This is different with Americans whom would see not looking direct at a person one is talking to as a show of insincerity in whatever they are saying.
Workplace diversity is particularly beneficial. It is through the workplace that individuals are able to learn of one another’s culture. Through work place diversity, individuals would be able to be more tolerant to others cultures as they will discover that there is no culture that is superior to the other. Cultural intolerance usually is because of belief that one’s culture is superior to the other. Where there is cultural diversity in the work place, such stereotypes can be dealt with, as the truth is known through interaction with people from various cultures. Through direct interaction, biases on a given culture can be eliminated (UNESCO, 2009, p.14).
There is a significant difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity refers to the existence of people with different cultural backgrounds under a shared setting. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the process of putting in place programs or conditions that allow all the cultures represented in a given common setting to coexistence. Cultural inclusion is a tool that is used to make cultural tolerance a reality (Özbilgin, 2009). In terms of work place culture, I have observed that there needs to be more inclusion of provisions of various cultures. Having worked in different organisations, in the United States, I have discovered that many organisations have remarkably little to offer for the Islamic culture. This can be in terms job allocations and schedules that would allow Muslims to enjoy practising their cultures without having any hindrances.
Cooley, K & McEwan, K. (2004). Legendary Away Days: The Complete Guide to Running Successful Team Events. New York, NY: Gower Publishing, Ltd
Özbilgin, M. (2009). Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Work: A Research Companion. Cairo: Edward Elgar Publishing
UNESCO, (2009). Investing In Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. World Reports Series, San Francisco: UNESCO