Today, the size of the human population has increased significantly from what it was over a century or a millennium ago. According to Worldometers, the current human population on planet Earth is estimated to be around 7.9 billion.
The increase in the human population also means an increase in the number of people who can be different from each other. We now have less homogeneity and more heterogeneity in society. Not everyone is the same. There are real differences between different groups of people and at the individual level around the world. We have differences based on skin color, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, caste, occupation, language , education, political opinion, health status, marital status, parental status, age, disability, and other characteristics.
No two people are the same and that’s the beauty of humanity. No two people are the same and this is reflected in the diversity we see in the world today at the group and individual level.
In a nutshell, diversity includes all the ways people are different from each other. Diversity includes differences based on skin color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, caste, occupation, language, education, political opinion, health status, marital status, parental status, age and/or disability, and other characteristics. It also includes a range of diverse ideas, perspectives, and values that exist among different groups of people or individuals.
The diversity that exists within humanity is not something to be fought against, hated or frowned upon. It’s something to celebrate, it’s something to embrace. As human beings, if we really want to progress and coexist in peace and harmony with different groups in society, we must recognize and accept the diversity that exists in the human race at the level of the group and the individual. We are different, and so are others. When we accept and recognize the diversity that exists within the human race, then we can shape our societies, communities and organizations to be more inclusive.
Concretely, how does diversity work? Diversity can be achieved in an organization by ensuring that different groups of people are represented in that organization. For example, if an organization has only white men, it can be diverse to include women and people from different racial backgrounds. This helps to create greater representation of different groups of people within the organization.
On the other hand, inclusion is where we create a welcoming environment that supports and embraces differences and offers respect to everyone despite their differences. It strives to eliminate all barriers, discrimination and intolerance that may arise among various groups of people.
Concretely, how does inclusion work? Well, for starters, just having a diverse organization doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inclusive. Using our previous example, now that an all-white male environment includes women and people of different racial backgrounds, what is being done to make that environment more inclusive? These people should not just be added to an organization for symbolic purposes, they should be valued, respected, integrated and empowered. They must actively participate and contribute to the organization in a manner commensurate with their experiences, talents and skills.
In addition, their views, opinions, ideas and values must be respected.
When we put the essential principles of diversity and inclusion at the center of the development of our societies, people will feel like they belong and if people feel like they belong, they are more likely to be self-fulfilling. to their fullest potential and to be able to contribute productively to the development of an organization or society.
When we value diversity and inclusion, we help create a more equal and progressive society that respects the inherent dignity and rights of all human beings.
Today, I encourage us to respect different groups and individuals in society so that we can create more diverse and inclusive environments where everyone feels valued, respected and appreciated.
Author: Jeshua Bardoo is a lawyer and Vincentian lawyer. He is also President of Equal Rights, Access and Opportunities SVG Inc. He can be contacted by email at jeshuabardoo