It is very important for professionals and managers to be educated on the aspects of a diverse workforce to allow for a blended and productive work environment. There must be some understanding of the effects of culture on human behavior, this understanding is crucial to a successful and productive business.
There are many challenges for one to become culturally competent, one may have to look at their own bias’s or prejudices in order to gain an understanding of why we make some of the decisions that we do. Education plays an important role in understanding how to become more sensitive to cultures, ethnicities, and genders different from our own.
A theoretical perspective in which gender and race are viewed as cultures provides a useful framework for understanding cultural diversity in the workplace and a necessary starting point for managing a diverse workforce. (Fine, Johnson, & Ryan, 1990)
In the ball and sock experiment I felt almost out of place in the world. Being married to a leftie and seeing him function seemingly without significant issues made me even more frustrated at the idea that I could not do simple daily tasks without concentration, there were even a few times when I asked my husband to show me how he did things like hold a wrench. We were attempting to assemble our pool pump this weekend so working left-handed with simple tools sent me into a spin. My husband thought this was very comical which made the experience even worse. I imagined how it must feel for my Hispanic patients stumbling over English words to describe
what had happened to them or to describe what type or where their pain was located. It must be very scary to feel out of place in the world.
This is why it is important for me to be educated on diversity and culturally sensitive on a daily basis. My job requires me to interact with many different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds so it is especially important for me to stay on top of the differences in many belief systems that I encounter as well as those I may encounter in the future.
In a managerial role it is also important to have an understanding of the diversity of the workforce because there could be religious holidays that one may observe that are not familiar or even religious practices that may be new to the work environment.
In closing it is important for us to see each other as human beings. We are all human with different ideas, belief systems and customs. Our differences make us unique and special but still human. When we have an understanding of that simple kinship a better work environment will follow.
Fine, M. G., Johnson, F. L., & Ryan, M. S. (1990). Cultural diversity in the workplace. Public Personnel Management, 305-319.