Cultural diversity can be explained as the presence of different cultures within a social system, which differ in values, norms and behavior and encompasses different ways of thinking, managing, and communicating. It is important because a country, workplaces, and schools increasingly consist of various cultural, racial, and ethnic groups and hence makes a country stronger and better able to compete in the new global economy . People from diverse cultures bring language skills, new ways of thinking, creative solutions to difficult problems and negotiating skills.
Cultures are created through communication which is considered to be the means of human interaction through which cultural characteristics are created and shared. In every culture there are basic standards for social interaction such as personal space distance, eye contact, amount of body language displayed in public, negotiating style etc. Culture is very important because it covers many different parts of human life. It is directly related to the human experiences regardless of gender, age and race. It forms people’s everyday life, their views, lifestyles, basic assumptions, their perceptions and above all, the culture shapes the individuals’ relationship.People express their culture through the values they possess about life and the world around them which in turn affects their reasoning in what behaviors suits to certain situations. Learning about another culture does not necessarily mean that one must internalize the norms of another culture and accept them. It provides a channel to learn how to manage the cross-cultural conflicts and helps people understand different perspectives within the world in which they live, and helps eliminate negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups.
Diversity is a concept that counters discrimination and embraces the inclusion of people with various experiences and backgrounds such education, parental status, geographic location, language, and culture. It is also about learning from others, providing support and respect to those with similar and different experiences.
Culture is a way of regarding and living life that is shared by members of a social group and that is passed on to people from the previous generation. More specific, culture consists of ways to behave and value aspects in life and is derived from the social environment where people grew up. Due to globalization and labor migration the presence of diversity in society and in organizations has accelerated the process cultural diversity further. Therefore it is evident that cultural diversity is becoming an unavoidable factor in many areas.
To support cultural diversity in our workplace or at school, we can increase our level of understanding about other cultures by interacting with people outside our culture, be proactive in listening, accepting, and welcoming people and ideas that are different from your own, avoid imposing values on others that may conflict or be inconsistent with cultures other than your own , intervene in an appropriate manner when you observe others engaging in behavior that show cultural insensitivity or bias and advocate for the representation of various cultural groups within the local community and the society in general.
As diversity keeps growing globally, cultural diversity should be embraced as it acknowledges and values various cultural ideas, encourages contributions from all groups, recognizes and respects diversity, people are empowered to achieve their full potential and differences are celebrated.