Variety. Mixed. Assorted. Heterogenous. Different. Myriad. These are just a few different ways to say diverse. Perhaps “mixed” resonated with you more than “heterogenous”.
There’s different stokes for different folks.
Diversity is one of the most favored orders in our natural world. It’s why life on earth is equally dependent on bees, insects, worms, birds, water, fire ice, lightness and darkness. Genetic transmission absolutely thrives on diversity and it’s why inbred potluck is substandard. Sexual affairs among the intermarried is precisely the magic potion you need to breed a monster. Ever wonder why ancient royal bloodlines led to deformities?
Crop monoculture- the practice of replanting the same crop species in the same field with no other types of plants. It’s what big agribusiness has been doing for years to maximize crop production. They cultivate a single crop in a given area for nearly nothing and we consume it ravenously. With a uniform vector for the spread of disease, crop monoculture breeds pathogens and provides ideal habitat for thrifty insects to spread like wildfire, making it necessary to spray the hell out of crops with herbicides and pesticides. It’s like sending a jolt of electricity down a railroad line- if there is nothing to stop the transmission then it will just keep going.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that- Martin Luther King
You see.. diversity goes much further than race. It’s not about a colorful hodgepodge of skin tones. (Consider the power-rangers 1990’s crystal clear flare on an “eye-rolling-and-trying-too-hard” racial equality). It’s not just the business picture, where your next hire must be a female asian woman; never mind those more qualified applicants. Race is probably the most transparent form of diversity. There is no cookie cutter formula to devise a workforce with equal representation of backgrounds. It depends on particular projects. It goes much deeper than gender and ethnicities. The natural world doesn’t put banana trees on the north pole nor does it put glaciers on the equator. That’s why pushing the “racial” diversity issue too far in the business setting can actually be counter-productive. Throw out those check box questionnaires that ask what color your skin is, or to be more politically correct, what ethnicity? What’s important is who you fundamentally are. Your hobbies. Your interests. The overly racial undertones come from stereotyping representation based on skin pigment rather than who the people actually are.
We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same- Anne Frank
There are many other kinds of diversity that are relevant to building a more prosperous economy. We have put a cultural hush on religion but those world-views could be essential in spicing up your workforce assortment. Get an equal representation of faith; get devout christians, muslims, agnostics and atheists.
Ask them about their political affiliations. Don’t get a sustainability committee that is nothing but a group of ground pounding, left-wing activists. Find those conservatives, those hard core republicans to fill the slots of surface deep gender/ethnicity diversity.
Pluck a few inputs from the nursing home, recruit some mature standouts from the local high school. Find retailers, manufacturers, bankers, service providers and utility operators. Have a PhD on your board right beside the community college drop out. There are a whole lot of smart people out there that could take your economic development firm much deeper than a uniform ashtray of freshly graduated economic degree holders.
No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive- Gandhi
Don’t overflow your finance department with your golf buddies sons or your marketing department with sorority girls. The world is bigger and much different than what happens in New York and LA. Maybe hire that small-town Kansas boy over the next Ivy League Bostonian. Look for a variety of hobbies, clubs and habits. Understand your gaps, who is not at the table. Clash all of these viewpoints together to most effectively accommodate all backgrounds.