Special Feature

Workplace Diversity

Underrepresentation within America’s corporate landscape is a situation all too familiar for women and people of color.

We’ve seen the disadvantages of neglecting diversity within Hollywood - see this report at apnews.com - and the psychological toll minority groups experience in a workplace designed to discredit their efforts. Diversity matters and should be taken into consideration when developing a successful work environment.

If a workplace favors Stanford graduates of a specific race, that pattern will continue until an entire office is filled with identical employees. Having one shared opinion hinders the potential success of a business, whereas having constructive, opposing views brews excitement, fulfillment and imagination. While having a greater amount of diversity does not necessarily guarantee success, providing qualified individuals a chance to prosper within a workplace regardless of their background or identities has the potential to generate equal opportunities and a stimulating work environment.

A 2015 McKinsey study, which can be viewed at McKinsey.com, validated the theory that high diversity and inclusion in the workplace generates more success than low diversity. The study found that there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and the quality of performance among employees. A lack of diversity represents a company’s disinterest in catering to all audiences, therefore limiting its success.

Diversity in the workplace allows underrepresented individuals to think, act and perform freely without the negative bias associated with their inability to execute on-par to their counterparts in the majority. Diversity allows individuals to find commonality with others and to feel safe, comfortable and appreciated overall. By rejecting people based on negative stereotypes associated with background or identity without first evaluating their ability to succeed, we may find ourselves regressing as a people.

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