Learn about the business case for increased focus on inclusion and cultural competence (using industry-related data).
- So, why is there this increased focus on diversity and inclusion? And why is cultural competence critical? Let's play a quick game to make the point. I'm going to share a series of statements related to the workplace, and I want you to reflect on whether you believe the statement to be fact or fiction. Consider making note of your initial responses to see how many of your answers are right. Here's the first one: Millennial men in the US are more likely than baby boomer men to be accepting of women as leaders. Would you consider this to be fact or fiction? This statement is actually fiction. A Harris Study Poll found that young men were less open to accepting women leaders than older men were. More specifically, only 41% of millennial men were comfortable with women engineers compared to 65% of men 65 or older. The findings of this study support us in understanding that everyone has their biases and can benefit from greater self-understanding and cultural competence. How many times have you heard myths that suggest younger generations are less susceptible to bias? We're learning that this simply isn't true. This data point is a reminder to us that cultural competence is a skill that we can all benefit from to increase our self-awareness and effectiveness in the workplace. Here's another one: More than three out of four Latinx employees expend energy repressing parts of their personas in the workplace. Fact or fiction? This statement is actually fact. One study found that 76% of Latinx employees expend energy repressing parts of their personas in the workplace. They are covering or downplaying who they are, modifying their appearance, their body language, their communication style, and their leadership presence. This can be detrimental to productivity, one's capability to innovate, and truly bring their whole selves to the workplace. The key point here is that the more culturally competent we are, the greater our capacity to create spaces that honor the differences in our colleagues and team members. If members of our teams and organizations are not comfortable being their best selves, they'll not be productive. Cultural competence is critical to employee engagement. So, let's do one more. Fact or fiction? Based on a survey of global leaders, only 7% think that they have the skills needed to manage in a global environment. It's actually fact. The McKinsey Quarterly cited a study, where 76% of senior executives said they believe their organizations need to develop global leadership capabilities; but only 7% think that they are currently doing so very effectively. Cultural competence is a critical skill in ensuring our capacity to be and develop effective global leaders. These are just a few examples that underscore the role of cultural competence in our capability to create inclusive environments. Were you surprised by any of these facts? Reflect on the ways in which cultural competence might relate to your work, to your team, or your industry. Can you think of a situation or a business opportunity that required you to problem solve or bridge across differences? The business case for cultural competence is rather simple. In order for us to attract and retain an increasingly diverse workforce and engage diverse communities and consumers in our marketplace, we must be able to recognize, understand, and adapt across differences. The more culturally competent you are, the better position you will be in contributing to organizational success.