In today’s global world the ability to effectively manage diversity is essential for success. To effectively manage diversity, you must see people for the individuals who they are and not as a member of a group. Additionally, keep in mind that we all stereotype – it is human nature. Once we understand that – we can better – and more effectively – manage diversity.
Leaders who can effectively manage diversity do the following well:
- Works with and effectively lead people of all races, nationalities, cultural backgrounds, disabilities, age, gender and sexual orientation
- Actively seeks out new talent regardless of race, nationality, cultural background, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation
- Supports and demands equal and fair treatment of all employees
Diversity doesn’t mean you treat everyone exactly the same. It does mean that you treat everyone fairly however. For example, let’s assume that you just hired 3 recent college graduates. They are all bright, top of their class and eager. Two of them have had the opportunity to work in a corporate environment in the past (they were worked at companies their fathers owned during summers), one never has had that opportunity. You might offer this individual additional orientation and mentoring around how to effectively work in a corporate environment. Is this equal treatment? No, you haven’t offered this opportunity to the other 2 who have the experience of working in a corporate environment. Is it fair? Yes. You are enabling for additional support to bring the 3rd person to the same level as the other 2 you hired. This is managing diversity.
Managing diversity isn’t easy. But when you learn how to do so effectively, you will find that you can attract and retain the best talent. Imagine the positive impact on your business – the diversity in clients you can attract, the creative and innovative products and services you can develop and the growth of your business.