Embracing Diversity of Cultures, and Ideas, In the Workplace

Every company wants to project an image of inclusivity, yet not every company can say it is truly diverse. Diversity extends beyond its common associations – gender, race, etc. – and also applies to the talents, experiences, and opinions that individuals bring to the table. These characteristics can set your company apart and expand the idea pool for your important initiatives.

Forward Thinking asked three instructors from the Forbes School of Business® at Ashford University what companies should do to attract diverse talent in every sense of the word:

Dr. Karen Ivy, Assistant Professor

“Demonstrate placement of diverse talent in its leadership ranks and existing employee groups. Also, engage in recruiting events and assist in identifying populations of diverse candidates that may not be in the immediate geographic region where the company is located. Diversity in talent can bring innovative ideas into the workplace. Innovative ideas can then lead to new products, new services, expanded customer base, and increased profit.”

Dr. Avisha Sadeghinejad, Assistant Professor

“When nothing decides an appointment to a position except competence and performance, we will see equality and diversity. When gender, race, ethnicity, age, and all those factors are out of the picture while finding someone for a position, diversity is drawn everywhere. It is a natural product of focusing on competence.”

Dr. Diane Hamilton, Assistant Professor

“I think the interview process has to be open to everyone. There cannot be a cookie cutter approach to how we pick people. If we pick everyone who has the same traits, then the end result will not be as creative. By hiring a diverse workforce, there will be positive change due to the creativity it will inspire.”

Equality and diversity in business were among the chief topics discussed at the 2015 Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City. The event hosted 250 of the world’s brightest and most accomplished women, including executives, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, celebrities, and politicians.

In the above video, you’ll hear what four of these women — Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO; Roya Mahboob, Afghan Citadel Software founder and CEO; Ramona Pierson, Declara CEO; and Yvette Campbell, former Harlem School of the Arts president and CEO — said about attracting diverse talent in business, the challenge of obtaining equality, and what employers should consider when making hiring decisions.

Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education

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