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Around the world, political, business and public sector leaders are claiming that diversity is the key to success in a globalized, multicultural world. Over time, ideas about diversity have evolved from recognizing diversity, to embracing diversity to creating value out of diversity.
Defining Diversity: Diversity is now defined more broadly to refer to the self-identification of people based on their collective experience or qualities. Depending on the context, diversity can encompass religious, ethnic or cultural groups, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, age, income, and language.
The Value of Diversity:
The benefits of valuing diversity to an organization include:
With demographic shifts, advances in technology and communications, and globalization, diversity is quickly becoming a driver of growth around the world.
Perhaps Rex Nettleford said it best:
The Caribbean…has struggled for all of five centuries with mastering the management of the complexity of…diversity. It has been the easy solution of peoples of different origins (ethnic or religious) who find themselves in close encounters to live side by side rather than together. But the communications technology revolution and the tremendous improvement in travel have dictated the urgent need for people to learn to live together, to deal with the dilemma of difference in ways that will serve the enhancement of the quality of life for human beings and to ensure positive human development well into the third millennium.
Caribbean leaders send a powerful message when they demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion that goes beyond rhetoric.
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