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Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.d) Addis Ababa 12-3-19

Diversity does not simply add color; it does have scientific proof that it can also be a souse of wisdom, knowledge and innovation. Where there is diversity, there is new idea, new wisdom and new motivation based on the different cultural religious and linguistic backgrounds of different people. Diversity by its nature possesses variety of cultural, traditional, linguistic and even professional values and norms at times completely different from one another. These values, norms and cultural and professional ethics and backgrounds not only add color to a society, but they do reinforce, build and grow society at large. They can also become a source of knowledge, innovation and wisdom critical and vital to the overall developmental endeavors of a given society. Diversity is a set of consensus that involves understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity’s cultures and the natural environment. This means, understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. This can be along the dimension of race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, age, physical disability religious believes, political believes or other ideologies. It is the state of fact of being diversity of opinion.

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Diversity is more than just a value, it is strength. It is one of the ways of helping people thrive and communities prosper to life. Diversity has a better competitive edge. Societies that embrace diversity gain higher market share and a competitive edge in entering new markets, Diversity often means higher technical as well as financial performance. Diversity bridges the talent gap. Looking beyond ethnicity and gender when posting jobs, diversity can attract the best of the talent pool. This will enable companies to find the right talent that will drive their future success. Diverse organizations can increase adaptability. A diverse workforce means having a greater variety of backgrounds, talents, and experiences that enable businesses to have higher flexibility in adapting to dynamic markets. Diversity promotes creativity and innovation. Companies with a workplace diversity and equality can gain a wider range of ideas and perspectives necessary in meeting the needs of customers more effectively.

Having diversity within a society is advantageous, but the lack of it also poses potential consequences. These may include untapped potential. When a society focuses on only a particular group of people, they are not able to maximize the availability of capable and talented individuals. It can cause less employee satisfaction and productivity and less committed staff results in decreased motivation, engagement, and productivity all of which lead to reduced profitability. Further, there could be reduced employee retention. Lack of diversity often result in higher attrition and will make it harder to keep experienced and skilled workers in your staff risk of being left behind.

 A diverse workforce brings high value not only to the organization, but also to its employees, and even society as a whole. When individuals from all ethnicities and genders are respected and given equal opportunities within a company, the business flourishes in more ways than one. Diversity would be achieved, along with removing business risks that may arise in hiring such as biases and cognitive dissonance.  Diversity has become more than just HR checklist items; they've grown into a cultural phenomenon that when executed correctly, it  has a direct effect on the bottom line. These days, it's more crucial than ever to ensure that the workplace is embracing this practice. But why exactly is a strong diversity program something to embrace and emphasize?

1.     Employee Engagement: If you want workers to be excited about and actively involved in where they work, a strong diversity and inclusion program can instill a passion that's contagious and shared throughout the company. Within the business resource groups diversity  will allow the company to tap into the energy of passionate and engaged employees marrying technology with interoffice communication.

2.     Company Confidence: The importance of having a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion plays a huge role in the overarching confidence of the company. This allows for a larger platform for innovation, creativity and a variety of perspectives that will leave your employees feeling like they are in a safe place to be themselves and produce their best work. Having this momentum present in the office also improves employees' wellbeing and enhances how they feel toward the company overall.

3.     Attracting Talent: Diversity programs build up their people from the inside out, and foster an environment that is more attractive for prospective employees. A higher caliber of industry professionals will want to join a company that strives to provide a comfortable, supportive, and inspiring atmosphere where people of different ethnicities, genders can flourish. Diversity can bring together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware of. Everyone has their own way of viewing a problem, shaped by the individual experiences that they have had. When tackling an issue, wouldn’t it be better to have multiple interpretations and approaches rather than everyone contributing the same thoughts and conclusions?

4.     Diversity can help people to become a World Citizen. If you experience diversity in your everyday life, you will have regular exposure to people, cultures, traditions, and practices that are unlike your own. You will learn the skills to communicate and interact with communities and concepts that you are unfamiliar with and gain a more worldly view. Not only will you enhance your social development, but you will also increase your understanding of the world. This will prepare you to be a part of a global society, whether you are traveling to a new country, working with diverse co-workers, or just reading about events in the news that have heavily impacted a population different than your own.  Hearing about another’s experience can shed light on a life different than your own and provide you a new perspective. When you compare your struggles, priorities, and values, you can really begin to comprehend where an individual is coming from and understand his or her actions and behaviors. Perhaps talking to someone new will change your mindset and priorities, or at least make you appreciate another’s motivations and hardships. Promoting diversity is the first step to not just “tolerance,” but true acceptance. Through growing contact with, exposure to, and communication between new people with unique ideas, individuals may see that they may have more in common than they thought. Or, they may still be remarkably different, and that is okay, too! Diversity facilitates acceptance, and diminish the misconceptions and prejudices that fuel discrimination.

5.     Diversity is colorful! What if everyone who surrounded you was exactly like you, in every way? Where is the fun in that? We need new ideas, views, and practices to stimulate and inspire us, to show us the way others eat, celebrate, and love! Together, our differences make a strong, beautiful world community. Even in the face of intolerance, discrimination, and violence, we must not forget to spread the word about the importance of diversity and to respond to that violence with a love and a celebration of our differences.

Generally, emphasis and value that are placed on diversity in today's society didn't come quickly and certainly didn't come easily, and it is now our job to ensure that these values are practiced and upheld.  The evidence speaks for itself and so does the everyday experience across the world. Diversity leads to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent, and better business performance


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