The Value of Diversity

June 29, 2020

Diversity has always been core to success. Are you gaining different viewpoints? It has certainly been proven that deliberately bringing diverse viewpoints into projects and teams will lead to greater levels of success. Men will have different perspectives than women. People with different nationalities and backgrounds will bring different viewpoints into the mix. People of different ages will have differing priorities and opinions. Are you bringing diversity into the conversation?

I can definitely tell you it isn’t as easy as it sounds. I didn’t even realize I was the only woman (and also the youngest person) attending the Board of Directors meetings when I was VP of Product Supply until one of my team members brought it to my attention. You’d think it would be hard for me to miss! I also remember a time during my consulting career when I really enjoyed participating in a group. We had a good working relationship and were quite successful. A potential new member came onto the scene. My first thought was “NO!”; however, I agreed, and she turned out to add great diversity, and the group was better for it. Good thing I ignored my inner voice!

One Tip to Implement This Week:

Simply pay attention for opportunities to insert diversity into your projects, events etc. You’ll be surprised by what you miss while focusing on the task at hand. Again, during my career with APICS Inland Empire Chapter (Association for Supply Chain Management), I missed the lack of diversity on our panel. Our audience noticed and commented in our survey. In this case, it was an all male panel. Our chapter has held 15 executive panel and networking symposium events, and this panel was the ONLY panel without a woman. Of course, over time, we have improved upon this metric in addition to male/female (although that can sometimes be tough on its own!) with panelists from multiple countries, backgrounds, age groups, work backgrounds (in addition to manufacturing and distribution, we’ve added healthcare, technology and more), etc.

Start by simply paying attention and giving a diverse group a chance. Be open to the idea, and you might just gain significant value.

Stay safe & healthy.