Diversity is one of the most misunderstood concepts in business today. Primarily due to the governments putting a singular focus on gender and certain race/colors. I do think it is necessary to have that focus, but diversity is so much more than skin color and sexual preference.
I look at diversity in an organization like a stunned glass window. There are so many things that make us different from each other. So while we may have the same gender, we will still bring diversity. Some of the differences that make up my definition of diversity include:
- History – what your background and experiences
- Country of origin – where you or your ancestors are from
- Religion – what your belief system is
- Education – what kind of education you have
- Family Structure – what your family environment was and is like
- Language – while English is the language of business, it is a second language for many
- Traditions/Customs – what you celebrate
- Hobbies – what you like to do outside of the office
- Skills – what you bring to the table
- Passions – what gets you excited each day
Every one of these can make up a diversity matrix that goes beyond race, gender and ethnicity. The more diverse, the better a team will be. Diversity needs to include as many of the items as possible. Because you can fall into the trap of thinking you are diverse, but if you hire only from one school and one gender or one race you may not really getting diversity. We are best when we tap into the experience, background, history, passions and skills of different people. Problems get solved quicker, projects get done faster and teams become more successful.
We find Jesus selecting a team with diverse background for his disciples. He picked fishermen and tax collectors. While we don’t know all of their professions, some were likely artisans of some sort. I know, he didn’t select women to be disciples, but he did have women on his team with Mary and Martha. While they were all Jewish, He made sure His message would go to the world. We are told that Jesus looks at everyone the same way. In 1 Corinthians 12:11-13 we see:
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
Also in Colossians 3:10-12
“and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
It doesn’t matter what your function, color, wealth, background, family structure or place in society. If we believe in Christ, we become sons and daughters. When we put this heavenly principle in place we find we stop having even micro biases and can focus on the person.
When we see each person the way Jesus sees them, we can look past anything on the surface. With Jesus’ eyes, we see a persons destiny; why they were born. We can then call forth their kingdom potential and help them reach a full life, the way they were suppose to live. We need to be willing to put on the mind of Christ and forget about what our eyes see. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see others the way they are meant to be, not how they currently are. We can then be instrumental in helping others reach their fullest godly potential.
What do you think? Any thoughts on diversity?