Diversity, equity, and inclusion! What comes to mind when you hear these words? Involvement, belonging, equality, variety, embodiment, cultural differences...just some thoughts I’ve heard from people. For me, diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard. Inclusion is what makes diversity work.
Why should we even care about diversity? “A diverse and inclusive workplace is the best way to increase performance and innovation. Aside from business benefits, diversity and inclusion are important to keep campaigning for in society as a whole”, as stated in Diversity in Tech based in the UK. Just imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same, believed in the same things, dressed the same way, spoke the same way with no varying differences. Diversity fosters a different perspective because we all think differently and have had different life experiences.
October marks Global Diversity Awareness Month and I can’t think of a better month to start this column. This month and this column are about celebrating and appreciating our differences. Global Diversity Awareness Month promotes knowledge of and respect for different cultures.
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Hispanic Heritage Week started in 1968 by Congress, and in 1988 expanded to a month. The celebration begins in the middle rather than the start of September because it coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrate theirs on Sept. 15, followed by Mexico on Sept. 16, Chile on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept. 21. Think about some ways you can celebrate diversity this month. You can cook a cultural meal, attend a cultural art exhibit, play music from around the world, support minority-owned businesses, or be intentional about getting to know a colleague of another culture.
According to Alliant International University, “There are a lot of factors that play into diversity—some things are visible on the outside, but others are just a part of the way people were born. These distinctions are the grounds for how the four categories of diversity (internal, external, organization and worldview) were created”.
One of our initiatives at the NRWA is to foster awareness and appreciation of diversity. I aim to educate and enhance awareness. I believe having diversity, equity, and inclusion will improve the balance of opinions and views in any setting. A well-balanced world will accept different opinions, cultures and, reduce fear towards our differences. This column will give you a shot of perspective and a direction to dig deeper. It’s about building spaces of belonging. Stay tuned for what’s to come.
My original article was published in the National Resume Writers Association newsletter, October 2021.