In the modern day, ease of transportation and access to information have made all the major cities in every country magnets for migrants from various parts of the world. Lured by the prospects of peace, prosperity, education, or a fresh start, people from many cultures are moving to countries promising to fulfill their dreams.1 On the other hand, business organizations are also branching out internationally to survive the volatility in the marketplace.
In order to thrive in this new world order, diversity in the workforce has become a great necessity. The key characteristics of workforce diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, ability, and sexual orientation. A company that embraces diversity can broaden its skill base and become more competitive and innovative. Diversity in city populations and international presence of organizations is the new reality.
Whether institutions are corporate entities in search of profits or charities focussed on non-profit philanthropy, there is no escape from this new reality of diversity. The personnel who are needed to run the institutions, the clientele or customer base who are served and other institutions with which there is interdependency are all products of this diverse world. The individuals and institutions who adapt well to this new reality are assured of survival and success.
Our city, the Greater Toronto is a leading business capital in attracting and fostering people from every part of the world (Toronto Demographics). According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “diversity is Canada’s strength”2 (Census Report) Canada is known as a multicultural nation that celebrates its historically diverse population.
Customers: Every institution depends for its existence on customers who are interested in goods and services supplied by it, whether the organizational motive is profit or not. Relevance to the customers is critical. Relevance to the customers can be maintained only by serving their unique needs. So, organizations have to ensure that their products and services, the channel for distribution, the customer interface all are diverse and serve the interests of the diverse market segments. One can see organizations, which cater to the diverse consumer base, succeeding in their efforts.
Employees: Employees will be attracted to organizations, which demonstrate sensitivity to the individual differences. Organizations which ensure that the workforce is well trained to engage the diverse marketplace will be better prepared to face this new reality and succeed.
The future belongs to the organizations and individuals who are ready to tackle diversity.
(1) – Mary Ellen Guffey et al – Business Communication Process and Practice, Chapter 3 Intercultural Communication, page 72.
(2) – Antona Christus-Ranjan, 2018, Blog: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE CANADIAN WORKFORCE link
- Amazing Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
- Diversity At Work Is Essential, And It’s Everyone’s Responsibility