Diversity and inclusion are like humans and plants, without plant, human cannot survive and without human, plant cannot survive either. Each one depends on the other for effective functioning. It is the same issue with diversity and inclusion. Diversity cannot function effectively if inclusion does not play a crucial role and without diversity, there would be nothing like inclusion. Let us delve deeper into the interconnectedness between diversity and inclusion.
The interconnectedness here is all about the fact that inclusion is the way of making diversity work. In order words, inclusion is the means of operationalizing diversity. Once diversity comes to play its role as helping the society to accept the fact that, there are individuals in the society with different characteristics and these characteristics makes them unique and special; inclusion then makes it clear that yes there are differences in the society but there is the need to involve these differences in the affairs of the society so that all differences would feel at home and happy.
This relationship can also mean that, diversity is the mix of differences whiles inclusion is making the mix work. Let us take a graphic designer for instance especially those who work with their hands; someone who is able to mix colors cannot be called a graphic designer just like that but when the person goes an extra mile to make the mix work thus form something beautiful out of the color differences, then such person can be crowned as a graphic designer.
Even though inclusion is a necessity wherever there is diversity yet there are some issues that are very difficult for inclusion to prevail. Racial differences for example is a major challenge for inclusion despite the conscious efforts. There are still European countries who are stereotyping black people, Asians and even Philippians because of their race. There are huge discriminations going against these races all over the world. Even within the above mentioned races, there are various diversities in them and it sad that they don’t include certain people in their various societies and so how much more the people who are totally different from them?
Another classical example where inclusion finds it very difficult to fit in is in the case of gender. Gender stereotyping and gender bias is one major issues the media needs to keep addressing. Women are the victims here as people have the perception and belief that men are more valuable than women and that men are the sole owners of women. In view of this, there is this stereotype that women are only supposed to be in the kitchen and men at the work place. Despite recognizing that being a male or female is an individual difference, people tend to look down on women and fail to get them into reputable positions in the society. Inclusion therefore becomes very difficult to fit into such societies.
Age and socioeconomic differences is also a major challenge for inclusion. No matter the education and awareness being broadcasted, people who are older than their fellows have the perception that they do not have what it takes to be included in decision making and that is a very big wrong perception. There are equally great minds in young people as well that when given the platform, they can touch lives and contribute a lot but they do not include them. Socioeconomic differences also limit inclusion big time! The rich always look down on the poor and tend isolate them. The rich think the poor is shallow minded and lazy and because of this, the latter are excluded from important events of which they can equally contribute.
So now, why should the society embrace diversity and inclusion wholeheartedly? One can observe that wherever there is diversity and inclusion, there is always harmony. Once the society understands that everyone is different in their own unique ways, there is the tendency that everyone would be involved in decision making any other important issues. Once everyone feels cherished and valued, there is that kind of peace and harmony in the society.
Embracing diversity and inclusion also helps to increase production and profit. Imagine a society that solicits for the views and contributions of everyone irrespective of your gender, your age, your ethnicity or race, there is always enough work input and commitment which results in a greater production and eventually huge profit. There are equally great talents in the people that are marginalized in the society. But if everyone is included in the society, everyone would also bring out their best to help develop the society.
Above all, diversity and inclusion is a practice that should be embraced everywhere including work places, institutions, and all other places where humans reside since it brings the best out of the various individuals with their various differences.
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