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Cultural Diversity Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion Essay

What are the dimensions of cultural diversity? Identify and briefly explain the dimensions by referencing both textbooks. In reading both textbooks and doing further research on the Internet I, believe La Trobe University best summed up the dimensions of cultural diversity. The dimensions of diversity can be divided into two groups, primary dimensions, and secondary dimensions.

“While each dimension adds a layer of complexity to individual identity, it is the dynamic interaction among all the dimensions that in? ences self-image, values, opportunities and expectations” (La Trobe University). Primary dimensions are characteristics unique to an individual. Examples would include age, gender, mental and physical abilities, race, ethnic heritage, and sexual orientation. “These six differences are termed core dimensions of diversity because they exert an important impact on our early socialization and a powerful, sustained impact on our experiences, values, assumptions and expectations throughout every stage of life.

Secondary dimensions are less visible, and many contain a greater element of choice” (La Trobe University). Examples would include geographical location, military and work experience, income, religion, first language, family status, and education. With what ethnic, cultural, or other groups do you identify? Describe what members of your social circle have in common. I am a White female who grew up in a middle-class environment. I have no specific ethnic or cultural group that I identify with because I am of mixed race. As stated in one our readings there are no longer any “pure races.

My father is Lithuanian, while on my mother’s side there is Bohemian, Italian, and German. I consider myself to be American. While growing up I was exposed to many cultures. I had Whites, African Americans, and Asians in my neighborhood as well as in school. My mother taught me to be open to everyone, no matter his or her skin color, even though she contradicted herself when it came to dating someone from another race. On the other hand, my mother’s family was very prejudice. My first husband was Jamaican and my mother did come to terms with her contradictions in her beliefs.

Not one family member from my mother’s side of the family attended my wedding but all family members from my husbands’ family attended. I am thankful for the values my mother instilled in me. What is the difference between diversity and inclusion? According to The University of Tennessee Libraries Diversity Committee (2003), “Diversity can be defined in many different ways. Diversity is a commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make individuals unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement.

Examples of these characteristics are: age; cognitive style; culture; disability (mental, learning, physical); economic background; education; ethnicity; gender identity; geographic background; language(s) spoken; marital/partnered status physical appearance; political affiliation; race; religious beliefs; sexual orientation. ” Like diversity, inclusion can be defined in many different ways. Oxford Dictionaries defines inclusion, as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Inclusion is to have the same choices and opportunities that other people have.

Being appreciated and accepted for whom you are. An inclusive environment is one in which every individual’s unique perspective contributes to the overall success of the organization (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003). What is the importance of workplace diversity training? If we are to understand the importance of diversity training, we first must define workplace diversity. According to Schaefer (2011), workplace diversity is defined as “the ways in which people differ that may affect their organizational experience in terms of performance, motivation, communication, and inclusion.

Being “inclusive” means that diverse employees believe that they are vital contributors to the organizational mission, not marginalized, or tolerated. ” The importance or advantages of workplace diversity training, affects all areas of business as stated in the following areas. Creativity is increased because different cultures can offer insightful alternatives others may not have considered. Productivity is increased when people of all cultures pull together toward a inspiring goal. New language skills are developed enabling people from other cultures help us understand not just their words but also the meaning behind what they are saying.

By connecting to people with different backgrounds, others will gain a greater perspective on how different cultures operate and experience greater success in areas of global business. New processes are created when people with different ideas come together and collaborate. What is your experience with workplace culture? Could there be, or could there have been, more inclusive? I did experience workplace culture while enlisted in the United States Air Force for 10 years. The military employs many people from diverse backgrounds. More than 60 years ago in 1948, Harry S.

Truman signed Executive Order 9981 abolishing segregation in the military and ordering full integration of all the services “without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. ” This order was more symbolic than effective so to level the playing field Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were enacted. Still, these acts did not meet the needs of women in the workforce and the Equal Employment Act of 1972 was signed. The percentage of women enlisting in the Air Force has tripled because this act was signed.

Even though I never personally experienced discrimination, being a female in the military, sexual harassment is still a very big issue. The military has tried to take the steps necessary to lessen these issues by having mandatory sexual harassment, sensitivity, and cultural diversity training but these problems still exist. All the training in the world will be of no benefit if military does not take a stand and punish those who do not follow the rules instead of brushing it under the table. Please note that, this is my opinion and does not reflect the opinions of other women in the military.


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