‘Cultural diversity’ describes the makeup of a group of individuals by reference to their ethnic or cultural background.
(Cultural background is a different concept to cultural identity.)
The more different backgrounds are represented, the more a group is culturally diverse. And so the fewer backgrounds are represented, the less a group is culturally diverse.
The arguments put forth to encourage more cultural diversity in organizations are in three main camps:
- Moral – letting all people live up to their potential.
- Civic – the makeup of an organisation should approximate the makeup of the population it aims to serve.
- Instrumental (or the ‘business imperative’) – diversity on boards is correlated with better decision-making.
I’m going to delve deeper into this topic – more reading, writing and thinking on a topic that is difficult to talk about and even more difficult to take action on.