Diversity in the Workplace – a Quaker Business Prospective

Diversity is a key factor in our multi-cultural workplace in the 21st century.

The Quakers and Business Group met in October 2016 to discuss Diversity and the outcome is described here.

Here is an excerpt about equality and embracing diversity:

“It is through feelings, awareness and understanding that we can recognise and overcome the barriers that prevent us from moving towards our goal of embodying equality.

We chose to celebrate and embrace diversity and not see it as dividing us. The earth is precious and full of many species which must all live together and contribute to this wonderful world.”

Feel your way to success

It is not often that we can reflect on our emotional reaction in business. We should, particularly in terms of Diversity.  Our response to difference in the workplace is an emotional response, which is lead by our personal environment, knowledge and background. How we were taught to think and feel.  Usually, we don’t allow people to “feel” in business, this is a mistake as using intuition is a big part of success in people management.

The identification of how we feel on a basic level defines the way we act. Therefore, to embrace diversity is to understand our emotional reactions, test them (are they really appropriate and “true”?). In doing this we can acknowledge those reactions which are “unhelpful”.

What can a Leader do?

As a Business Leader, Manager or HR Consultant, we have to start with ourselves and lead as an example to others.  Frankly, if you can manage that half the time – you are probably doing ok.  We are not perfect but we can at least try.

up&up was created by Suzie Bogle, the owner of Breathing Space HR, which she runs as a Quaker business.  You can learn a bit more about that in the blog, Its not all about chocolate.