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As I am preparing for my presentation next week on Diversity, I thought about what's not diversity.
Diversity is not a thing that can be slapped artificially for the sake of political correctness or guise to protect from lawsuits;
Diversity is not silencing the majority and forcing everyone to think the same;
Diversity is not perfecting preferential treatments or quotas or taking revenge from a century-old injustice;
Diversity is about respecting and celebrating human differences in all of its forms-not just RACE, CLASS, CASTE, ETHNICITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, RELIGION.
Inclusion is about accountability that leads to great bottom lines: more revenue, less negative conflict, more innovation.
Inclusion is fostering a culture that respects, honors, and values diversity in all of its manifestations.
I was in a diversity training room almost a decade ago. A guy spoke up about diversity and inclusion in the office and he said, that I can only 'tolerate.' I'm still not there yet and please, respect that! There was silence in the room. No one commented or made a reaction to it.
I simply recalled this reaction because it also meant respect. Some people believe that it's just a political correct thing. Some are putting a strong push-back against it because they're maligned by it. This is also because some of the way diversity projects are forced into your consciousness are appalling. It doesn't earn respect, it earns more resentment, antagonism, and conflict.
I hear that side of the story too! Aren't we all diverse in on our ways?
It's about time we start treating one another as human beings, not a QRSSTW or a theirs, them, and other identifiers. Cultural intelligence is not some lunch and learns and lip-service HR projects. It's about embracing the full breadth of talents, knowledge, passions, and backgrounds that make the world a better and more interesting place. Pitting one group against the other on the basis of these differences aren't sustainable. It's like saying, 'we are going to riot until we defund the police' which is selfish and irresponsible.
We can't afford to rip apart the society and put it back again magically without further aggravation and dire consequences for the future generations. It's time to look at the overall objectives of our politics and try to find balance and harmony, not tribalism and inept leadership.
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