A recent article on “Why We Need to Stop Talking about Diversity of Thought” indicates this is a risky approach to diversity and inclusion efforts. Diversity of thought is “the idea that people don’t need to look different or identify with an underrepresented group in order to bring varying diverse viewpoints to the table.” The author posits that “diversity of thought is an outcome of DEI efforts and we become distracted from the real reasons we need to be focusing on DEI initiatives.”
I would challenge this and say that diversity of thought is an input of DEI efforts. Incorporating diversity of thought into companies is important for a few reasons.
· For employees to be valued, their opinions, ideas, and perspectives must be acknowledged.
· The article emphasizes diversity is “the right thing to do.” Even though it’s the right thing to do, we must equip leaders with the proper tools to ensure employees do not feel forced to participate in DEI efforts. I would say that encouraging your employees to embrace and value differences is “the right thing to do.”
Increasing company diversity includes improving workplace culture, employee experiences, and embracing the diversity of thought.
Lastly, it is diversity of thought that allows individuals to generate new and fresh ideas. This is how we learn to appreciate innovative approaches to problem-solving.
What is your perspective on diversity of thought? Feel free to share in the comments!