In our modern world, diversity is one of the topics that has become increasingly important and relevant. Our world is changing rapidly and diversity is a vital component in the process of accepting change. This essay will explore different perspectives on diversity and why this topic is so crucial in our current society.
What is Diversity?
At its core, diversity is the inclusion of people from different backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, and more. It is often viewed as a strength as it brings different experiences and viewpoints to the table. By acknowledging and valuing diversity we can build a stronger and more united community.
One perspective on diversity is that it is an essential element in fostering a healthy community. A community that is accepting and respectful of diversity tends to be more innovative and successful. This has been demonstrated in a study conducted by McKinsey & Company which found that companies with more diversity in their workforce tend to have better financial outcomes (Dobbin & Kalev, 2016). Valuing diversity also means providing equal opportunity for all individuals regardless of their background.
Moreover, embracing diversity can be beneficial at a personal level as well. By interacting with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, one can broaden their horizons and develop a better understanding of the world around them.
A Counter Perspective on Diversity
However, there is a counter-perspective on diversity that believes it can cause division and conflict. This view bases its argument on the fact that diversity results in people seeing each other as different and separate from one another. This can create feelings of animosity and lead to tensions between individuals and communities. In some cases, it can even result in discrimination.
It is important to note, however, that this perspective can be a result of a lack of understanding or exposure to diversity. By fostering dialogue and actively seeking to understand and respect diversity, these feelings of animosity can be addressed and mitigated.
The Importance of Diversity in Education
Education is an area where diversity can have a profound impact. It is crucial to provide an environment that acknowledges and respects diversity as it can help students gain a better understanding of the world they live in. By teaching students about different cultures and backgrounds, we can promote empathy and understanding.
Moreover, diversity in education can also be beneficial for students from diverse backgrounds. By seeing individuals from their own background succeed, they are given the opportunity to imagine the same type of success for themselves.
A recent study conducted at the University of Maryland found that diverse classrooms led to higher levels of critical thinking, problem-solving, and academic performance (Dee & Penner, 2017).
The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace
In the workplace, diversity can have a significant impact on productivity, creativity, and innovation. One study found that working with people from diverse backgrounds can expose individuals to different perspectives that can challenge their biases and help them think outside the box (Phillips, 2014).
Furthermore, workplaces that value diversity tend to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce, leading to better business outcomes.
Issues Surrounding Diversity
Despite the many benefits diversity provides, there are still issues surrounding it that need to be addressed. For example, diversity can lead to microaggressions and discrimination. By consciously acknowledging the value of diversity, these issues can be addressed, and an inclusive environment can be created.
Another issue that arises with diversity is tokenism. Tokenism occurs when individuals from diverse backgrounds are brought into an organization or community, purely for the sake of diversity. This can result in the individual being viewed as a token rather than a valued member of the team.
In conclusion, diversity is an issue that is crucial in our current society. It provides a range of benefits for individuals, communities, workplaces, and educational settings. However, it is important to acknowledge the issues that come with diversity and foster dialogue that can mitigate these issues.
As our world continues to change, it is vital that we embrace diversity and work towards a more inclusive and accepting society.
Dee, T., & Penner, E. (2017). The causal effect of cultural diversity on in-class interactions and student achievement. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 36(2), 283-306.
Phillips, K. W. (2014). How diversity makes us smarter. Scientific American, 1.
Herring, C. (2009). Does diversity pay?: Race, gender, and the business case for diversity. The Academe, 95(1), 30-35.
Kalev, A., & Dobbin, F. (2016). Why diversity programs fail. Harvard Business Review, 94(7), 14-17.