Inclusivity and diversity; two words you’ve probably heard a lot. Why is everyone talking about this so much and why is this so important? In my previous blog, I explained that people often act from unconscious ideas or prejudice. These prejudices are formed by your upbringing, family, experiences, and traumas, but often also from a lack of knowledge. It can cause you to accidentally exclude or discriminate against someone. An inclusive and diverse society helps to counteract unconscious prejudice. How? I’ll explain that to you below.
Inclusivity and diversity in society
It’s nice to feel at home in the place where you probably spend your whole life. How exhausting would it be if you’re constantly influenced and riled up by your prejudices? If you treat each other without prejudice, you can increase inclusion and diversity and enjoy being in contact with others. Why is that good or important?
It reduces discrimination
By interacting with people who are not exactly like you, we learn that being different is not a problem, threat, or barrier. We learn that people who you thought were “so different”, actually have a lot in common with us. By seeing what we have in common and accepting our differences, you reduce misconceptions, prejudice, and discrimination.
It brings you new perspectives
Learning something new happens through people who have knowledge and experiences that you don’t. If everyone is the same, we can never really learn new things. By listening to people with different experiences and backgrounds, we gain a new perspective on (your own) life. By investing time and energy in people who are “different” from you, you become flexible in your thinking and you can see life through different lenses.
It gives you rich life experiences
As humans, we are diverse. In fact, diversity is necessary for survival. If everyone is the same, everyone is equally susceptible to certain problems or illnesses. In addition, tribalism (connection within a tribe/group) feels safe and secure, but it limits us in our ideas. So it is important to recognize that diversity is fundamental to our survival, it is also the key to a successful existence.
It makes you productive
Research shows that employees of organizations that promote diversity and inclusivity are happier and more productive. Bringing together people from different backgrounds and life experiences opens up new ideas or perspectives that might never have arisen otherwise. How interesting is it to have a team with a different background, ethnicity, culture, gender identity, and religion?
How about you?
What are your prejudices? Do you ever surround yourself with people who are different from you? Give it a try! It’s not about liking everyone, that’s impossible. But it’s about opening yourself up to people you normally (unconsciously) avoid. You have nothing to lose, rather something to gain: beautiful experiences and interesting new people in your life!