Too often, talks about Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace revolve around gender. Data on men to women ratio, disparity on pay and LGBTQIA+ representation are often in question.
Over the past years, we’ve seen some improvements. Like there are more and more women in the Board of Directors in big companies, women in high ranking government office in different countries and recently and closer to home, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) welcomed its first ever female coach – Coach Mau Belen. Definitely something to celebrate. Yet, we all know that we still have a long way to go to strike the balance.
Still, there’s more to it. Now, let’s talk about other inclusion and diversity areas that matter in the workplace, beyond gender.
What do Recruiters and Hiring Managers say when they hire? They look for a candidate who is a good culture fit. In that case and in most cases, that brings in more of the same. Usually people of the same personality and similar way of thinking. That is a workforce that is easy to manage, but not such great grounds to a high performance team.
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I had my team take all 4 assessments. And what wealth of information from understanding who we are and accepting each other. I also learned that we are not as diverse as I hoped for. So, in our interviews, while talent and attitude always come first, we are more conscious not to dismiss someone just because s/he is not a culture fit.
The are companies that only hire from the country’s top universities. And there are those who does not have anyone from any of these universities.
Each institution has its own set of standards, its own culture and its own demographics.
It makes for a richer experience to hire without discrimination on scholastic standing or educational background. Again, the first priority would always be talent and attitude. Anyway, scholastic achievement is not a predictor of success in the workplace. But studies have shown that diversity is.
Similar to educational background, work background is a recipe for success.
Why? Because it is in work environment where a person expands in knowledge and picks up more advanced ways of thinking and innovative ways of doing things.
P74 of Gallup’s Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath says, “Strong Teams Embrace Diversity…Having a team composed of individuals who look at issues similarly, who have been the product of comparable educational backgrounds, and who have experiences with similar track record and approaches is not a sound basis for success.”