In a previous blog post, GLBT in the Workplace, Meg talked about some challenges of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender in the workplace. Today, I’m going to touch on some of the challenges associated with diversity in the workplace. Diversity is not just about the color of someone’s skin. It includes gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, political beliefs, disability, or anything that makes you different.
First, I’d like to share why this topic is so important to me and why I’m such a strong believer that students should be educated about diversity and how important it is. As students, diversity enriches our educational experience. Interacting with people whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from our own expands our learning and teaches us skills that we will use for the rest of our lives. Diversity also promotes personal growth and a healthy environment for everyone. Diversity helps students learn how to communicate with others whose backgrounds might be different than theirs. As well as learning how to look past stereotypes to treat everyone fairly. Overall, diversity strengthens a community. Education with diverse settings prepares students to become well-rounded, respectable citizens and prepares students for future career success. Lastly, diversity prepares you for working in a global society. No matter what profession you choose, you’ll be working with a number of people with diverse backgrounds. By experiencing diversity in college, you are laying the foundation for being able to work and interact comfortably with individuals of all backgrounds.
As we know, there are people in the world who are not very accepting of diversity, or they are not very well educated on how to interact with people who are different than themselves. After graduating college, you will be entering the real world, with a big person job, and things might not be as laid back and accepting as they are in college. There will be issues in the workplace revolved around diversity. Some of those issues include prejudice, racism, discrimination, and an overall lack of respect. What you can do if you see this happening in your place of employment is to be a voice. Don’t let things slide, be an ally, and model suitable behavior as a role model of the office.
Be the change you want to see in the world.