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Diversity Discrimination Or Are We
Really Embracing Diversity?
Comment by Diversity Speaker Clint Cora

Diversity Discrimination

If you ask most people whether we should embrace diversity or not, the vast majority of them will probably say yes since it seems to be the most politically correct response these days.  After all, very few people want to appear racist or ignorant or even worse, be guilty of diversity discrimination.  People might even say that we should embrace diversity because it’s good to have different cultures around.

But the question is, are we really embracing diversity?  If you go to a typical workplace or school cafeteria and see segregated groups of people all sitting in their separate racial groups by choice, this may indicate that as a society, we really haven’t embraced diversity as much as we think we have.  If people still prefer to be with their own kind, then perhaps a diverse environment is something that we try to just tolerate, rather than embrace.  Embracing and tolerating are very different actions.  There may be very well diversity discrimination on a silent level, at least vocally.

It is really too bad if this is the case in reality.  Diversity can be a positive or a negative depending on how we approach it.  And in the case of merely tolerating a diverse environment, then the situation is really more of a negative rather than a positive. There still is diversity discrimination out there. 

Silent Type Of Diversity Discrimination

Diversity then becomes much like dogs in the park for folks who do not like dogs.  The non-dog lovers will tolerate the dogs as long as the animals are leashed and they remain at a distant.  This is a silent type of diversity discrimination but in effect, the actions of segregation by choice is as loud as if it were vocal.  People can see right through it.

However, diversity can certainly become a huge positive rather than a negative that is just tolerated.   There have been many examples where a diversified setting has been truly embraced with success.  We do see some groups of school children playing together that are quite multiracial.  We also see some very diverse groups in some business circles.  I have personally worked in companies where pharmaceutical sales representatives of different cultural backgrounds work together as well as socialize together at corporate functions.

The key to successfully embracing diversity is understanding the value and benefits of doing so.  This will help people realize that a diverse society can be beneficial to their lives.  If people do not see the value in people’s differences, then it will always remain a negative rather than a positive.  This realization is often the first step that is required in any good awareness program to combat diversity discrimination.

The second step will be to help people develop diversity skills since interacting with different people from different backgrounds may very well be new territory for many individuals.   Educating people with such skills will definitely help them become more effective in a diverse environment whether it be on a professional or personal basis.
Introducing diversity awareness or educational programs are a positive step in the right direction for any organization whether it is a company or a campus.  Forward thinking organizations can help their people thrive in a diverse environment both internally and externally.

It is important to use people who are qualified to facilitate such programs.  These individuals, such as diversity speakers or seminar leaders, should have experience working with very diverse environments.  Such experts are able to use real world examples of successes to illustrate important concepts to the organization.  This will ensure that diversity is truly embraced.  

There is also a short video version of this diversity discrimination topic.

See descriptions of my Diversity Speaking Programs.


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