« Difficult people……again | Main | I want an agenda »

The new diversity

As the population of the United States changes, so has the meaning of diversity. No longer is diversity defined solely along racial and ethnic lines.

Diversity now includes
education level, problem-solving style, single versus married, children versus no children, high wealth and low wealth, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, behavioral style, tenure with the organization, geographic origin, personality type and military service.

It’s quite logical. If we have diversity in our workplace, we have coworkers who can help us identify with and better understand the various clients in the marketplace.

Today’s smart employers are thinking about this new diversity when they look at the backgrounds and experiences of applicants. They assess what each applicant can bring to a workplace. But that’s just the beginning.

How well do these diverse workers fare in the workplace? Do we expect new coworkers to meld into our way of doing things, of thinking? We shouldn’t. We need their different points of view and different work styles because they mirror society. They help us understand the target audiences we’re trying to reach.

One piece of the new diversity--generations currently in the workplace

Generation Y (also Nexters, Millennials): born early 1980s through early 2000s
Generation X: born early 1960s-early 1980s
Baby boomers: born 1946-early 1960s
Traditionalists (also Veterans, Matures): born 1922-1945

Think about the attitudes toward authority and structure in the workplace, about the technology backgrounds of workers of these generations. As we pair with coworkers of different ages, we may be working on common goals but we don’t approach them the same. We don’t work on projects in the same way. Be open to the new diversity.
It's being inclusive to build espirit de corps.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Henry Ford, American industrialist (1863-1947)


And weight! I've seen people discriminated against if they are overweight.