As workforce demographics change, it is increasingly important to understand, respect, and accept individual differences. You often hear discussions about diversity, but what does the term really mean? Author Ruth Mayhew says, “When the phrase ‘workplace diversity’ became popular, …diversity typically meant differences based on race, gender, color, national origin, and religion.” Today, that definition has been expanded to include age, culture, disability, life style, and even work style.
One core value that addresses how to manage all of these differences is respect. “Mutual respect in the workplace is based, in large part, on respect for colleagues’ abilities and skills – how well their expertise matches their job assignments. Mutual respect acknowledges talent, not race, color, gender, or culture,” says Mayhew.
“Respect for coworkers and their respective roles in the workplace encourages a collegial work atmosphere. It also fosters collaboration, synergy and cooperation, which are essential ingredients for creating a workplace that values productivity, performance and the quality of its products or services.”
– from Why Is Respect Important in a Diverse Workplace?
CCWA is committed to helping organizations create an inclusive work environment where every individual is valued. We work with you to help your team:
- Practice respecting differences without having to agree with them
- Recognize how biases and stereotypes can lead to disrespectful treatment
- Discover how diversity creates value for your organization
Vice President, Workforce Development
Community College Workforce Alliance