Cultural diversity and cultural awareness skills allow employees from different walks of life to come together, contributing to a company’s success. Further, interacting with people from different backgrounds creates a positive workplace environment. Embracing cultural diversity and implementing cultural awareness in the workplace is critical for every business to create its brand value; therefore, many companies have implemented cultural inclusion and diversity programs.
Before we venture into the importance, let’s explore what cultural diversity really means.
What Is Cultural Diversity?
Culture influences our behaviours and gives us our identity; it shapes us and is the reason we have particular beliefs and opinions. Cultural diversity is the representation of different ethnic and cultural groups in society.
Cultural diversity at work encompasses the hiring of employees from different races, different cultural backgrounds, different political views, and different sexual orientations. In addition, cultural diversity fosters an environment of inclusion, with people from different backgrounds that work as a team. It’s easy to discuss the definitions and theories within cultural diversity, but creating a culturally diverse environment within a company largely depends on the hiring practices.
Why Does Cultural Diversity Matter?
Understanding that the world comprises people from different cultures and backgrounds is the first step toward a more harmonious and understanding society. Our differences shouldn’t divide us, but we should celebrate them because they unite us as human beings.
It’s common for people to fear things they don’t understand–however, by embracing the richness of diverse cultures, we can stamp out barriers and discrimination because cultural diversity teaches us that being different doesn’t mean bad. Culture is the lens through which we view and assess our environment, so it can be challenging to see and accept a culture that’s contradictory or different from ours. Because of this, we might develop preconceived notions about particular cultures that might cause us to discriminate.
Benefits of Cultural Diversity in Society
Through a diverse and inclusive lens, we can explore and better understand the perspectives of people from other cultures. Thus, embracing cultural diversity helps us see more, cherish more, and understand more about the world around us.
Understanding is a vital step before accepting and valuing; it’s the same for understanding different ethnic and cultural groups. Even if we may not understand why certain cultural groups do things the way they do, we can accept and celebrate those things as their customs and make the choice not to judge or discriminate.
Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
Embracing and encouraging a culturally diverse workplace goes beyond the nationality of the employees–it means considering various factors, including religion, language, political views, and sexual orientation, in the hiring process.
In addition, encouraging cultural diversity in a workplace improves productivity at work, as embracing diversity factors in a combination of values, norms, and beliefs for people to achieve a sense of community. Fostering cultural diversity at work improves employee performance because it encourages workers to learn and grow by learning from each other’s experiences, to collaborate and communicate effectively, and to explore creativity and new ideas.
Another importance of cultural diversity in the workplace is increased profits for the organisation. A 2013 survey by the Centre of Talent Innovation shows that 48% of businesses in the U.S. with a culturally diverse workforce improved their market share compared to the previous year.
The world is home to a wide variety of people with different religions, political views, and cultural backgrounds. Yet, it’s through embracing our differences that we can find unity and community. Both in the society and workplace, embracing cultural diversity is essential for everyone, as it paves the way to more compassion, empathy, and even improved productivity.