Business vs. Social case for diversity
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The business case for diversity states that having a diverse team leads to an increase in profits, newer market and business opportunities while the social case for diversity states we should stop all the practices that lead to discriminatory behaviors because no one deserved to be discriminated on the basis of race, sex or political ideology or affiliation. Plain and simple. Both cases are accurate. History has shown that discrimination soon or later lead to societal upheaval. Moreover, a diverse business team has an ever increasing benefit and leads to more innovative products and solutions. The short-term pain of building a diverse society or team leads to a sustainable long-term success. However, managers need to be careful to avoid falling into the perceived diversity trap. What does it mean or what does it take to create a diverse business team? Most businesses fall into the perceived diversity trap by creating teams based on demographics or roles. Combining people from different races or sexes or even fields does not make a team diverse.

What makes a team diverse is not the roles or the demographics of the individual team members. It is the individual members varying perspectives and their ability to converge from divergent viewpoints. Counter-perspective is an essential tenet of diversity. Thus, managers need to stop judging people at the surface level and strive to have a deeper understanding of each of their respective team members. Your output will always be a product of your inputs. They must take the time to ponder on their own set of assumptions and the assumptions that they have of the individuals they hope to unite or are considering bringing together. Unless we accept that diversity requires intentionality, hard-work and commitment, we will never reap the benefit and beauty of diversity.


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