We live in an increasingly globalized world, and economists, politicians and corporate leaders are constantly looking for new ways to makes their economies and businesses more competitive. One of the key discoveries over the last decade is that diversity of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation significantly improves creativity, work ethic and overall competitiveness within all organizations.
There has been a lively discussion about the pros and cons of diversity over the last couple of decades, but over the years more and more evidence has accumulated that diversity offers far more advantages than disadvantages. What social science researchers have found is that teams with a richer variety of people are more imaginative and resourceful. The synergy of diverse opinions, perspectives and ways of thinking, allows teams to tackle problems from a variety of different angles, yielding better solutions and more efficiency. Diversity, or lack thereof, also explains larger economic trends such as the stagnation of a homogenous China during the western industrial revolution, and the innovativeness of increasingly multicultural western countries over the last couple of decades.
Diversity skeptics claim that excessively divergent behaviors and patterns of thought within groups lead to conflict, lack of trust, and less camaraderie. But what social scientists have found is that when people work through their differences, diversity ultimately creates stronger, more innovative teams with a wider variety of novel ideas and perspectives.
Now that the verdict is in, companies, universities and governments are eagerly hiring diversity practitioners and introducing diversity quotas in order to boost organizational competitiveness. Economists and politicians are working to change immigration and social policies to promote a wider variety of cultures and ethnicities in their countries, so that their economies are able to compete in a globalized world. Hopefully this will not only promote global economic growth, but will also create a more exciting, cosmopolitan world that truly values previously disadvantaged groups such as women and people of color, who have been held back for so long.