The Young Professional’s Role in Understanding and Promoting Diversity

As all young professionals know, diversity is a huge topic in today’s world of business. From large corporations to SMBs, diversity is something that is on everyone’s mind. One of the many reasons for the concept’s prevalence is the tremendous benefits it can offer an organization when properly embraced.

Metro EDGE recently hosted an EDGEucational Forum at University of the Pacific regarding what diversity truly means and its importance in the workplace. We were lucky enough to have these three speakers come in to share their insights regarding this hot topic:

  • Erica Manuel – Community Relations Manager for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
  • Dr. Michael Marion – Facilitator for American Leadership Forum
  • Lisa Wrightsman – Regional Program Manager for Street Soccer

When speaking about diversity it’s important to properly define it. Diversity is more than just our sex, race, and gender, it’s about the way that we think, how we act, what we believe in, our socioeconomic upbringing, our age, our experiences, and even our thought processes. Part and parcel to this understanding is the agreement that people are infinitely more complex than how they may appear at first glance.

Diversity at its core is an ideal that embraces and celebrates individuality.

This point makes it worth understanding how to incorporate diversity into an organization, entities that can sometimes make it difficult to act as an individual. In many cases, engaging with people that we necessarily would not normally converse with is a fantastic start. By seeking out amazing individuals who have strikingly different backgrounds, ideals, and experiences, we can begin to understand the value of perspectives that are not our own.

When seeking employees to improve diversity, don’t just check a box, make sure that you are truly engaging in a conversation that adds value and meaning.

By recognizing diversity as a strength, we invite variety into organizations. This can offer new perspectives and help generate fresh ideas instead of stagnating. Thoroughly engaging individuals and understanding their perspective can help create a diverse community that is more knowledgeable, tightly knit, and tremendously effective.

As we know, Sacramento is a town that truly cares about its inhabitants. As young professionals, it is our job to get involved and shape what we want this city to become. Let’s make sure that Sacramento remains the kind of place that embraces the individuality and diversity that we value so highly.