Meaning of Cultural Diversity
Cultural diversity is a way of appreciating the difference that exists among different individuals.
Cultural diversity is inevitable since we are all different. This cultural difference can be defined by sex, race, age or social status.
Advantages of cultural diversity
- Improved innovation due to a difference in experience and specialization.
- Increased productivity because each employee has a unique quality to offer at work.
- Increased adaptability brought about by learning different solutions to a problem.
- Diverse ideas which are beneficial to any working environment.
- Diverse range of services as each member has something to offer.
- Greater room for individual growth and productivity.
- Increased ability to hire and retain diverse employees.
- Increased tolerance and patience amongst employees as they get to understand one another better.
- Improved social infrastructure in terms of housing, education and health systems in the community.
- An improvement in economic infrastructure such as better transport, communication and energy sectors.
- Improved social relations between people and nations which in turn improves business agreements between companies and nations
- Cultural diversity leads to improved financial and marketing infrastructure facilitating international operations.
- Increased client base due to the reputation and values of diversity in a company.
- Collaboration among diverse communities.
- Makes life to be more interesting as one gets to learn from different people about their cultures.
Disadvantages of cultural diversity
- Communication problem which can lessen productivity.
- Extra training cost which can badly affect a company’s budget.
- Unhealthy competition from employees trying to get recognized.
- Hindering the freedom of speech as individuals have to be cautious not to hurt other people’s feelings.
- Integration problems which might lower productivity.
- Disrespect as some members of certain communities feel superior to others.
- Civic disengagements because a diverse community is less likely to participate in civic activities.
- Workspace issues as one group might feel discriminated.
- Imbalance of power since mostly the community with the most members gets leadership positions.
- Different interpretation of workplace etiquette.
- Problems getting visa requirements and work permits in different countries.
- Conflicting working conditions and styles causing conflicts in the workplace.
- Cultural stereotypes and prejudices making some communities feeling un-worthy.
- Social injustices to communities deemed inferior.
- Lack of equal opportunities at work due to cultural discrimination.
The advantages of cultural diversity outweigh the negatives. We need to appreciate our differences so that we can move forward as one in all our endeavors.
A balance must be reached so that we can all enjoy the benefits of cultural diversity.