When those two words are used together, the first thing most people think of is the word “policy”. Every organisation needs an equality and diversity policy, but there is so much more to it than that.
Diversity is the key to life.
In the natural world it helps the survival of species.
In business, it helps new and innovative ideas get to market. It helps with interesting and challenging discussions. It aids in the development of those around you. It stops “group think” and continuing with “the way we have always done it around here.”
We are all different as human beings. The MBTI will show you that, as does the IQ distribution, and the fact that some people make millions playing football and others couldn’t name a single player in the premier league. Diversity is something to be celebrated, not shied away from.
With these differences comes different strengths and different views and outlooks.
As an individual your goal should be to maximise your strengths, skills and experience and then surround yourself with those who can do what you can’t do.
If you work by yourself, then try to meet other individuals through networks and communities and partnerships who are different to you. Talk to them, share ideas, share experiences and learn from each other.
The aim of an organisation is to have a diverse workforce which brings all these unique strengths together to work together in positive collaboration.
So once we have diversity, we need equality.
Equality is not about everyone being the same.
Equality is about celebrating diversity.
Equality is about acknowledging the skills, experience, strengths and weaknesses that each of us has. Yes we are different, but that doesn’t make anyone better than the other. We are equal in our uniqueness.
When we work together, as equals, putting to use our diverse strengths then true magic can happen.