Imagine a world where there is no place for individuality. Everybody looks the same and has the same thoughts and beliefs. Scary, right?
Fortunately, the cultural diversity of our world prevents this dreadful scenario becoming real and it is a driving force of financial, intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual development. Its importance is crucial. In 2001 UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and, the year after, the UN General Assembly declared a World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. But there is still work to do.
According to the UN, three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension.
With this dreadful stat in mind, let’s campaign to increase awareness of the importance of preserving diversity and cherish our differences.
As a global company with a presence all over the world, we live and breathe diversity and actively celebrate it through global initiatives like Culture Week that rely on employee participation and anonymous feedback. It is one of our greatest differentiators.
In fact, one of our key strengths relies on the differences of our employees. Working together in a multicultural environment requires us to develop a mindset that is good for business: global thinking, openness to dialogue, combining complementary strengths, and treating each other with respect and trust.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Non-homogeneous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance.”
There is no doubt that interacting with people from different backgrounds widens your horizons, helps to banish prejudice, connect with a wide variety of customers, understand their needs and expectations and, overall, makes life interesting and rich.
Blog author: Julian Walker, Head of External Market Communications and PR, CWT.