#Diversity – It’s More Than Just a Hiring Issue!

16 Apr

Being ‘diverse’ is more than just hiring the right people and ‘seeing everyone the same.’ It means recognizing differences, acknowledging them, and responding appropriately when necessary.   Having a strong Business Culture involves understanding the background that people are coming from and adapting to it as needed so that people feel motivated and comfortable.  For example, if you are going to do business in China, you should do some research into their traditions.  Even if it’s not ‘unfair treatment’ — assigning someone from China to chair #4 may actually cause a problem for them culturally (4 can represent death or bad luck in Asian cultures).  Many of my Chinese students feel very uncomfortable being asked to be in ‘Group 4’ or to sit in ‘Chair 4’ during a project.   It’s important that I (as an international employee) be aware of that and do my best to find work-arounds.  It isn’t difficult, but it does take some thought and forward planning. 

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