Global Diversity Summit
The Importance of Diversity in the Global Context
April 13, 2016
Chair: Cynthia Nwaubani
The world is now smaller than ever as information technology shortens the gap between regions and time. It becomes imperative to understand the global landscape when it comes to the most important factor — human resources. To succeed in this global landscape, we must take the discussions around diversity and inclusion a step further — global diversity. Global diversity is more than just a “kumbaya” strategy for bringing people together. It is a necessity that must be understood, accepted and employed.
We need to move past the idea that global diversity and cultural difference is an obstacle to be overcome rather than a tool to be leveraged for business success. As Robert Reich writes in his 1991 book, The Work of Nations, “We are living through a transformation that will rearrange the politics and economics of the coming century. There will be no national products or technologies, no national corporations, no national industries.”
The company of the future must be skilled at bringing together people from different backgrounds and ethnicity with the hope of incorporating diverse thoughts and ideas into the challenges of innovation and survival in the 21st century. How do we build upon the foundation of domestic diversity and make a business case for Global Diversity?
Developing a global acumen is undoubtedly the first step towards embracing and understanding the inherent values of global diversity. In today’s world, we are constantly inundated by differing views of the world through the media and through other news outlets. We can choose to ignore the urge to understand the world around us or to learn to develop a mindset that can lead to increased global market share. But what does it really mean to have a global mindset and how can we harness its powers in creating awareness for global diversity?
Research has shown that women succeed more when they have connections to resources – both human and capital resources. Since women make over 50% of the workforce, it makes business sense to empower and engage women to become successful leaders in their chosen sphere of influence. Imagine the impact it would have in the global business landscape, if those women who have shattered the glass ceiling, can reach through the cracks and pull another woman up. Perhaps, the notion “It takes a village to train an individual” can be better achieved through establishing and promoting effective women’s resource groups, thereby creating a ripple effect in the society and in the business world.
The term “Globalization,” has many facets and meanings depending on the individual, corporation or on the country embracing the concept. In and of itself, Globalization is a dynamic force and thus its impacts may be better understood through the lenses of change and technological disruption. Regardless of what it means in each situation, the common thread is that of diversity- diversity in thoughts, in ideas, in values, and in experiences. The challenge then becomes, how can organization direct these forces of diversity to achieve a common set of values, goals and corporate culture?
Contact Mishi Jain at [email protected] with any questions or concerns.