The Multicultural Workplace

Here in the United States (where I have lived and worked all my life) diversity is, and has always been, a given… since back in the 60s and 70s when protesters demanded human rights and equality for everybody. On paper, the United States is the best country in the world to live in because racism, sexism and discrimination do not exist, right? In fact, diversity somehow defines our nation to a certain point. Now, in reality, I would be fool to believe that cultural bias in this country does not exist. The founding fathers themselves were all white males who owned land. But, we have come a long way my friend.

If you want to speak of diversity in the workplace, think of the president of the United States today—a gentleman of color! Think of the military… and those women running through the jungle with machine guns. Pretty soon, and not soon enough some say, there will be a woman president. There will be females in the NFL. Diversity in the workplace will continue to be more common. And why should it not?

Sometimes, we take for granted all the good things about this country. Somewhere on the other side of the world, gays are prohibited from working, marrying, or raising a child… In some places, women are forbidden from being CEOs… In extreme places, women are not allowed to be part of society at all. For instance, France is just now considering quotes which represent differing ethnicities, persuasions, and sexes. Just now! I guess as a planet we still have a long way to go. And, I am not suggesting that our policies and attitudes are perfect here in the states. It really takes individuals to reach out to those in the minority and help bring them up to the fold. Companies must continue to practice diversity. The Middle East could stand to follow suit as well. Consider if you will the following experiment:

If you were to put together a think-tank in order to gather ideas for, say, an advertising campaign, would do well to consider the transgender applicant, the homosexual applicant, the home-maker, the grandma and the ex-con, as well as many other groups not represented here. Are you prepared to do so? If not, you might want to consider burying your own head in the sand. The multicultural workforce is here to stay. Let’s keep it interesting.

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