Diversity is Essential for Growth and Opportunity

On the third Monday of January, we are called on to remember civil rights activist and Baptist minister, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and reflect upon how, in a mere 39 years, his presence changed the world forever. His passion for equality, diversity, and education continues to resonate among us. Even in a divided America, the inspiring emotional intelligence that was conveyed through Dr. King’s speeches leaves me with a warm feeling of inclusion.

Diversity and Success

Why is diversity essential to success? Diversity is no longer limited to race or gender — today it extends to education, age, disability, ethnicity, perspective, national origin, geographic location, familial status, and more. Building a diverse workforce is critical for organizations that strive for growth, improvement, and success in an increasingly diverse market. To limit diversity is to limit growth.

Diversity and Competition

The future of most modern-era organizations depends on the quality and diversity of employees they recruit and the clients they engage with today. Committing to provide an inclusive workplace will help improve the quality of your workforce, increase your return on investment, and afford you a competitive edge.

“…We must rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns, with a broader concern for all humanity.”

An excerpt from “The Birth of a New Age,” an address delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on 11 August 1956

Diversity and Recruiting

Are you aware that many job candidates review an organization’s commitment to sustaining a diverse and inclusive workforce when considering employment opportunities? Many high-value candidates compare workplace environments, preferring inclusivity, creativity, ingenuity, and collaboration with an open exchange of differing perspectives, ideas, and solutions.

Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which he delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Diversity and Leadership

To truly realize the benefits of diversity, an organization must value diversity in all that they do: strategic planning, business development, recruiting and human resources, training, and professional development, and management. This commitment will ultimately be reflected in their world-class customer service and employee engagement. Promoting diversity as a strategic value is in the long-term best interest of any successful organization.

Diversity and Opportunity

Leveraging diversity allows us to relate to people from varied backgrounds with respect. It prepares us to listen, to seek mutual understanding, and to welcome information exchanges fully without societal filters, bias, or prejudice. We should strive to understand diverse worldviews and ensure that we appreciate our differences.

“…The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically…Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

An excerpt from “The Purpose of Education,” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as published in February of 1947 in the Maroon Tiger at Morehouse College.

Diversity and Relationship-Building

We must focus our efforts on understanding the forces that shape the views and actions of our clients, customers, and competitors. Training and practice will help you to accurately interpret internal and external situations that impact your organizations’ diversity and consciousness.

Diversity and You

We should truly see diversity itself as the real opportunity — creating an environment where diverse people can thrive. By better understanding diversity, we are better able to effectively acknowledge and reward people’s strengths, accomplishments, and personal growth, which leads to a better, stronger organization.

I have a dream that every person understands that education, diversity, and emotions matter, and that the power of all three will be used for our own good and the good of others.

Written by:
Michelle Clark
Human Capital & Human Resources



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