Diversity In Your Workplace. Get On Board!

We humans are a funny lot!  Apparently most of us value doing new and different things, enjoying the full scope that life has to offer but when it comes to
12 Mar 2016 09:53
Diversity In Your Workplace. Get On Board!
Pure Magic International Business Solutions chief executive officer Caryn Walsh.

We humans are a funny lot!  Apparently most of us value doing new and different things, enjoying the full scope that life has to offer but when it comes to diversity in the workplace, we’re not always as accepting of others as we could or should be.

Diversity is about difference.  Different colours, different skills, different backgrounds, religions and interests.

After all, it’s these aspects that make the workplace energetic, interesting and a fascinating kaleidoscope of difference.

Diversity in the workplace occurs when employees with a wide range of differences work together – different ages, backgrounds, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, workplace experiences, educational backgrounds and political affiliations, to name a few.

The problem with humans and diversity

Many countries around the world today are multi-cultural societies, rich with approaches, cultures and ways of being.

Most of us say that we value diversity and people who are ‘different’ to us, but it does not always appear to be the case.  Particularly in the workplace.

Humans, like other primates, are born into social groups – otherwise named a clan, a tribe, a culture.

Raised within, and by, this clan and the culture significantly shapes, in part, the people we become.

When that is threatened, we often go into fight or flight mode, standing our ground to protect our clan.

It’s similar in the workplace.  We may be more accustomed to working with people from our own or similar background, because ‘we do things in the same way.’

For example, if we follow a particular religion, we may pray similarly, and respect each other for doing so.

Whilst this may seem strange or unfamiliar to a person from another religion with whom you work, it does not mean either is right nor wrong, merely different.

Because a colleague of yours does something in a different way, does not mean that their way is wrong.  Just different.

The quicker we learn to appreciate diversity, and be curious and accepting of it, the better all workplaces will be.


What the law says

It is unlawful to disadvantage employees and job seekers because of their colour, race, gender, sexual preferences, religion, nationality, disability, political affiliation or age, for example.

As in many countries, the fallout of not implementing effective Workplace Diversity plans successfully in Organisations in Fiji often results in bullying, harassment and discrimination.

The Employment Act of 1965, currently the single most comprehensive piece of legislation dealing with employment in Fiji, deems workplace discrimination as illegal.   (Source:



If you don’t practice workplace diversity in your Organisation, it’s time to get serious.

Research findings explain that workplace diversity brings a competitive edge to your business and increases profitability.

Doing workplace diversity ‘well’ requires planning, inclusion of people and a firm commitment to fairness and equality for all.

Caryn Walsh is an International Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker. On July 1, 2015 Pure Magic International Training Solutions changed its name to Pure Magic International Business Solutions to more accurately reflect what services it offers.

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