Here’s some fantastic news in light of the upcoming Global Diversity Month: diversity training is vigorously climbing to the top of North American organizations’ agenda (and hopefully well beyond). Thanks to the massive global movements to raise awareness on racial and gender inequities we have been witnessing – or perhaps even partaking in – these past months. And that is a good thing. Furthermore, I suspect Global Diversity Month this October will favourably fan the flames even more. An excellent thing!
What does Global Diversity Month mean to me?
Loads (as the British would say)! Having worked with international organizations and professionals for years – and now elatedly watching the planet virtually coming together – diversity has become a given in my work life and personal life. To me, this means enriched knowledge, enhanced connections, colourful interactions, augmented creativity and curiosity and yes, a vastly wider market reach.
Since I launched my first business in 1988 (yep… that long! That might explain my silver mane! :-), I’ve consistently sought meaning and relevance in my work. Honing my communications and marketing skills, I navigated the business world and found my way to cultural intelligence. Finally, a perspective to fully integrate my passion for cultures! This epiphany eventually led to the creation of ACCULTURA, my 3rd business endeavour.
Where does cultural intelligence connect with diversity?
As I developed a further understanding of the skills required to navigate diversity, clarity set in. If I combined the knowledge gathered in my work interactions and my travels with strong cultural intelligence skills, I could become part of the solution. Moreover, I could help other people and organizations do the same. I could help them see how diversity can be a valuable asset and, perhaps even, a significant competitive advantage.
On a more personal level, I could help people understand how accepting differences and joining culturally diverse forces can enrich one’s life a hundred-fold. And THAT is why I do what I do. That is the meaning and relevance I found in my work and hope to share through ACCULTURA’s mission.
Diversity is a business reality
The tsunami of change this planet is currently traversing is shaking our foundations to the very core. We no longer live in an isolated world. Today, even more so than ever before as the pandemic catapulted the entire business world into virtual mode. By eliminating physical constraints and barriers (and dare I say borders?), world markets have never been more accessible.
Just last year, the notion of providing live in-person training to a client in China would have involved high costs and extensive travel (not that I would mind, of course). Today, delivering training on a global scale means planning my schedule to nap before giving an 8 PM to midnight class. And just like that, China invites itself into my home.
Cultural training is a must
Cultural training is rapidly becoming a must as global nations connect, transact, and build relationships. We are moving well passed managing a multicultural team to engaging in everyday conversations with people all over the planet. The world is no longer at our doorstep. It’s in our home office, our living room, our kitchen – bringing along with it a rich amalgamation of diversity. And I couldn’t be happier!
My hope is that organizations and individuals grasp how essential diversity is to our everyday lives. And my deepest hope is that people, at home and work, gather enough will and courage to be part of the solution to end racism, gender inequity, and any other kind of discrimination in the workplace and beyond.
And that’s what Global Diversity Month means to me.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash