20, November, 2016
In today’s world, the term ‘diversity’ refers to a having wide array of beliefs, behaviors, and backgrounds.
However, if you go back to just a few years ago, you’ll see that many employers believed that all issues related to workplace diversity could be resolved if a company simply looked more diverse. This is why many diversity management efforts in the past primarily involved the recruitment of candidates from different ethnic backgrounds.
Today, however, workplace diversity also means having the ability to think differently and being able to integrate this unique way of thinking into making business decisions to effectively bring in a target market.
Being a diverse employee means bringing a unique perspective to the table, and your contributions can change the entire game plan of any firm.
Fear Restricts Creativity
Due to social stigmas and the fear of subtle racism, many diverse candidates are unwilling to showcase their diversity during the job application process. They believe that employers might be biased towards certain groups of people.
Others believe that if they are hired, it will be solely to improve the cultural diversity in the workplace, and not because of the skills and qualifications they bring to the company.
It might feel unfair if you’re hired just so that a company can make progress in its diversity efforts, but when you think about it, this isn’t really such a bad thing.
Using Diversity as an Advantage
Instead of being apprehensive about how an employer will treat you, as a diverse candidate, show them the benefits of having diversity in the workplace and how your background can be advantageous to the firm’s operations.
● For example, if you speak Spanish or have lived in a Latin American country for a few years, you should mention this in your cover letter. If the company you’re applying to is planning to expand its operations to Latin America, your knowledge of the language and culture can help the company develop a better marketing strategy.
● Even today, the choice of certain products purchased by a household is primarily determined by women. If a company is diverse enough to include women leaders and executives, the sale of household products will see an increase. This is because a woman in charge of product placement will probably be able to better determine what a household requires, and thus satisfy the customers’ needs.
● If you are gay, and the company you’ve applied to is releasing a new product that you feel may offend the LGBT community, consider mentioning your background in your cover letter and including your opinion about their latest venture. Just by providing your opinion, you can keep the company from damaging its public image.
● To provide diverse opinions and perspectives, it’s not essential that you have to be a diverse candidate yourself. Even telling your employer about your past experiences in dealing with specific ethnic, cultural, or religious groups is enough to promote a diverse company culture. This will show that you know how to reach out to different groups of people, and that you can bring a fresh perspective to the company.
By showing an employer how your background can aid the company in its operations, you are offering something unique that other candidates might not be able to. And in today’s market, employers are always on the lookout for people who will improve workplace diversity and revolutionize the way their company operates.
So, be proud of your ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual, and social background, and convince an employer that this can contribute to the success of their company. You’ll satisfy their requirements for diversity in the workplace while ensuring that your own abilities are put to good use.