Immigrating to the U.S. as a child gives you an entirely new perspective on what it means to add diversity to an organization.
People talk a lot about diversity — sometimes so much that I wonder if we still remember why. When leaders assemble diverse teams, the conflicting understandings of normalcy can lead to some friction — but as long as people are open-minded to the idea that their normal is not the only possibility, that friction can yield great results. A multifaceted, multicultural team can deliver some very unique and creative solutions in the workplace.
But when leaders hire people for their diversity simply to meet some standards of compliance, they might end up with more than just healthy friction. Unless these hires understand the benefits of bringing together diverse minds for more creative innovation, they may also bring conflict into a team.
Diversity should do more than check off boxes for your corporate diversity requirement; inclusivity for decision-making roles should go beyond basic divisions. Immigrants, like myself, know that diversity of class and culture can bring many benefits to a collaborative effort. To do diversity better, we need to go back to the source of its importance-bringing more diverse perspectives to work together and generate better ideas for business and society.
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