Over the weekend I was reading through my “virtual stack” of articles that has been piling up for over a year now. I wanted to share one with you.
If you have access to it, I recommend reading an article in Harvard Educational Review entitled, Can Higher Education Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse and Global Society? Campus Diversity and Cross-Cultural Workforce Competencies (reference is below).
The article describes a 10-year study that examined the relationship between college students’ exposure to racial diversity and their success working in diverse organizational environments. Among the many implications and conclusions from the study was that diversity for diversity’s sake will not foster a progressive racial environment. Genuine diversity and inclusion takes work.
Although the competitive benefits of building a diverse workforce is obvious, it shouldn’t be the only incentive organizations use to build one. Building a true diverse and inclusive organizational climate takes authentic commitment. It means doing hard lifting like exploring differences, developing cross-cultural competencies, eliminating structural barriers – and even considering ethical concerns.
Being focused on what diversity only does for the bottom line is not enough.
Reference: Jayakumar, U. (2008). Can Higher Education Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse and Global Society? Campus Diversity and Cross-Cultural Workforce Competencies. Harvard Educational Review, 78(4), 615-651,706