The (REAL) Importance of Diversity

March 05, 2018 0 Comments

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD.

Be it equally respecting all races, cultures, gender, sexual orientation, and religions or taking into consideration the opinions of others; all are prime examples of pure diversity.  Let’s face it, we are all diverse and represent several of the “boxes” we find on surveys.

Take a minute to look around you and think: how diverse is your workplace? The school which your child studies in, your place of worship, or the markets you purchase goods and services at? On a broader scale, how accepting and diverse is the political party that you support? Below are 5 reasons why diversity is important in every aspect of our lives and why we should promote it in others.

Diversity makes your life fun! Embracing diversity means so many things; it enables you to bring richness into your life. By embracing new ideas and views, you get to feel new experiences such as watching a foreign movie with subtitles or trying sushi for the first time! A monotonous life becomes dull and bland very soon. There’s no fun being surrounded by people who are just like you all of the time. Let diversity bring back the joy in your life. You have to make time to be with others who are different. You must be open to seeing, smelling, hearing, and thinking about new things. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Diversity is a gift that we must cherish each and every moment! You must MAKE time for diversity and be present at places to experience what it has to offer.

Diversity will help you become open and accepting.  Opening your mind to new possibilities will help you become more accepting. By getting to know new people, prejudices or stereotypes,  you may learn that you had a misunderstanding about those other people and must make time to break old beliefs that may not be serving you well.  In the process of talking,  you may find out that there are a lot of similarities between your culture and your friends or maybe a lot of differences, which is also absolutely fine! As a result of your tolerance and acceptance, you will be able to recruit and work with a lot more people in your workplace than before. Learning to appreciate people outside of the workplace can give you practice for doing the same in the workplace.

Diversity increases productivity.  By bringing in thoughts and opinions from people who originate from a variety of backgrounds, fresh, innovative ideas can be born. Your course’s project will become that much more exciting when you start to look at the problem through different angles – the angles will come from your diverse workforce and new “diversity lenses”. Everyone, agreeing to the same thing or producing the same idea is of no use in group projects. A different approach however, can go a long way. It may feel uncomfortable to hear other perspectives that may not make sense with YOUR background of experiences, but staying in the conversation longer to hear the wisdom of others can truly illuminate new perspectives that make things even better.

Embracing diversity increases your understanding of the world. Once you accept diversity, you will begin to learn more about the world and turn into a global citizen. Knowing how to communicate, respect and greet someone from a different culture is just one of the many skills you will achieve on gaining a worldly view. The process is simple: engage with colleagues who are from a different culture, or read about events that are happening in different parts of the world. Your mind will automatically condition yourself. You may be surprised how much information on each culture there is. It may bring your world to new life and fill your heart with new found passion for embracing differences and savoring what life has to offer.

Diversity is the key to eliminating discrimination. Discrimination on the streets, the bus, the workplace, practically everywhere can be diminished if only people become more accepting. In the office, if you make a point of specifically greeting employees from another background, it creates a big statement on your policies against discrimination. No longer will people hire others on the basis of their race or color; diversity can banish it all. After all, diversity goes much deeper than skin color, hair, language, etc.

In our world, embracing diversity is now more important than ever. If you think that there is a small part of you that is stereotyped or prejudiced, then work on getting your mind conditioned – the only way to move forward is to become accepting. Making yourself engage with others and being slow to judge negatively may help you find more joy in your job and enhance your life significantly. Right?

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.