By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist
Diversity, equity, and inclusion! What comes to mind when you hear these words? Involvement, belonging, equality, variety, embodiment, and cultural differences are just some thoughts I’ve heard from people. For me, diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard. Inclusion is what makes diversity work.
Why should we even care about diversity? “A diverse and inclusive workplace is the best way to increase performance and innovation. Aside from business benefits, diversity and inclusion are important to keep campaigning for in society as a whole,” as stated in Diversity in Tech based in the UK.
Just imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same, believed in the same things, dressed the same way, or spoke the same way with no differences. Diversity fosters a different perspective because we all think differently and have had different life experiences.
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, and I can’t think of a better month to start this column. This month and this column are about celebrating and appreciating our differences. This recognition month promotes knowledge of and respect for different cultures.
According to Alliant International University, “There are a lot of factors that play into diversity—some things are visible on the outside, but others are just a part of the way people were born. These distinctions are the grounds for how the four categories of diversity (internal, external, organization and worldview) were created.”
One of our initiatives at the NRWA is to foster awareness and appreciation of diversity. I aim to educate and enhance awareness. Having diversity, equity, and inclusion will improve the balance of opinions and views in any setting. A well-balanced world will accept different opinions and cultures, and reduce fear surrounding our differences. This column will give you a shot of perspective and a direction to dig deeper. It’s about building spaces of belonging. Stay tuned for what’s to come.
Aside: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Hispanic Heritage Week began with a Congressional declaration in 1968 and expanded to a month in 1988. The celebration starts in the middle rather than the beginning of September because it coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrate theirs on September 15, followed by Mexico on September 16. Chile celebrates on September 18, and Belize on September 21. Think about some ways you can celebrate diversity this month. You can cook a cultural meal, attend a cultural art exhibit, play music from around the world, support minority-owned businesses, or be intentional about getting to know a colleague of another culture.
Eustacia English is a new volunteer for the NRWA and writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year veteran of HR and talent acquisition and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her new husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at LinkedIn.com/in/ecampbell05.