‘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.