Top Initiatives That Promote Diversity

February 28, 2018 0 Comments

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD

The world has come a long way now from defining diversity as merely difference between races; we now characterize it on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, generation, disability, personality type, and thinking style as well. By now we all know the importance of diversity and why it should be promoted both at home and work. Diversity is important because it brings greater creativity, innovation, as well greater market share, just to name a few of the major benefits. Below are some notable initiatives ranging from a speech by Jon Snow, to the Me Too Movement, all of which were important attempts in an effort to promote diversity in our world.

1.      During June last year, renowned healthcare provider Johnson and Johnson conducted its first live video conference on mutual perceptions, diversity and respect (cited from The company had been looking to take steps towards global diversity and what a better way, than to broadcast their stand on the issue through live media. Feedback on the event states that many clients and employees of the company found that the initiative had increased their productivity and over one hundred participants in a survey said that the conference was among the most valuable training they had yet received.

2.      Sonia Brown is both founder and director of the National Black Women’s Network, a UK organization that was launched to aid women of color overcome circumstances which prevent their professional development. Brown also launched a number of other organizations like EVOLVE (a program designed to mentor minority and black female entrepreneurs) and the MetGirlz Network which works to assist and c=encourage growth of the business leaders of our future. All of Brown’s initiatives have been milestones in the effort to create a more divers and inclusive environment for every race and ethnicity.

3.      In response to the Grenfell Tower Disaster, when on the 14th of June 2017, the 24-storey tower of flats in north Kensington burned down, journalist Jon Snow released a moving speech on diversity in the British Media. He remarked on how the casualties were “written off as nameless migrants, scroungers and illegals”, whereas on the contrary, the tower had been full of talent. Jon Snow’s speech in which he also talked about a 12-year old girl (Firdows Kedir); Firdows was the winner of a school debating competition which he and Bill Gates had been judging. She was also a casualty in the fire. Jon Snow’s speech proves that among countless ignorant souls, there is still at least one person who is working towards increasing diversity. His actions give us hope.

4.      The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements were hugely popular and widespread this year among females, to the point where they even made a statement among women in the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. This year celebrities chose to make a statement by wearing all black attire and saying “Time’s Up”: the time is up for sexual misconduct in the Hollywood industry and also for discrimination on male and female wages. Actresses such as America Ferrera and Natalie Portman all chose to speak in favor of the movement. Choice words were also spoken by Debra Hessing: she chose to speak out against the company E! for their allegedly paying female co-hosts less than the male counterparts.
These four incidents are prime examples of how gradually the world is changing its perspective and moving ahead for the better. Many people and companies are now embracing diversity with open arms; it’s now up to us to keep the change strong and going.

Many organizations are finding that bringing in diversity trainers who are experts in cultural competence and conscious bias training help leaders and managers better understand how to leverage the diversity of organizational members. Diversity training consistently proves to improve employee efficiency, productivity, profitability,  and  job satisfaction. Most people quit their jobs because of things their boss does or fails to do.  Most leaders have good intentions, but sometimes do not always know what they do not know. Diversity training helps make leaders and employees more cognizant of how to bring out the best of everyone.

Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management, diversity and leadership lecturer/trainer and the author of several publications available on, including Diversity at Work and the new Leadership Handbook. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link:


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.