Coming from a marketing background, it’s hard to spot an ad that doesn’t go out of its way to impress us with the organization’s level of diversity. You’re guaranteed to see one woman, one Asian, one African-American, and one Caucasian. They are sure every people group is represented, whether or not it accurately reflects their company or target market.
We’re supposed to look at those images and equate that organization with the ideal of diversity. They oversee every detail of that image, because they want to be known as diverse. And why shouldn’t they? We value diversity. We’ve been taught to think it’s a great thing.
But real diversity has nothing to do with physical traits. If the only thing you bring to your organization is your age or skin color, you’re really bringing nothing at all.
Diversity is only true diversity, and valuable in a business sense, when it’s a result of bringing together people who think differently. Team an analytical with a dreamer and you’ll have achieved some degree of diversity because they think so differently. Someone with 20 years experience and someone in their first year can’t help but to view the same issue in a different way, thus creating diverse thoughts. If the diversity you aim for results in different ideas being created, they’ll mash together and result in something wonderful.
Don’t settle for the marketing poster variety of diversity, which is only skin deep.