Establishing our sustainable strategy in the business action plan implies taking into account aspects such as the importance of cultural diversity. Next, we will learn about the relevance of cultural diversity in the business framework.
If we were to do a research in different manuals about “diversity” we would find in its definition some difference and dissimilarity. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, the word “diversity” has two meanings: Diversity (from the lat. diversĭtas, -ātis). 1. f. Variety, dissimilarity, difference. 2. f. Abundance, a large amount of different things.
Even authors such as Palacios Rizzo and Romañach Cabrero indicate that “the diversity model provides keys to building a society in which all women and men see their dignity fully preserved. A society in which there is equal opportunity and no one is discriminated against because of their difference. In summary, a more equitable society in which all people are welcomed, accepted, and respected simply because they are human.
Types of diversity
We see that today there is a consensus that each person is different, but we are also aware that in many cases it is difficult to recognize that difference. In fact, there are an infinite number of distinctions for diversity such as the following:
- Cultural diversity
In addition, there is a more general categorization to understand diversity which distinguishes between:
– Visible diversity: refers to variables that are visible to the naked eye such as sex, racial or ethnic origin.
– Invisible diversity: refers to ethical values, knowledge, skills, hobbies, gender, among others.
It is important that neither of these two categorizations be ignored, especially the invisible part, since it is necessary to understand what happens in this aspect and to use this knowledge to transform our attitudes and behaviors when socializing.
What is cultural diversity?
According to UNESCO, cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity.
In 2001, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity was adopted and, following this, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was declared in order to make visible the importance of dialogue between cultures, religions and civilizations, ensuring that all people are committed to it and support this diversity in our daily lives and combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation between people of different cultures.
Furthermore, Article 4.1 of the 2005 Convention (Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions) defines that “cultural diversity refers to the manifold ways in which cultural groups and societies express themselves. These expressions are transmitted within and among groups and societies.
Cultural diversity is manifested not only through the varied ways in which it expresses, enriches and transmits the cultural heritage of humanity through the variety of cultural expressions, but also through diverse modes of artistic creation, production, dissemination, distribution and enjoyment of cultural expressions, regardless of the means and technologies used”.
Sustainable development powered by culture
Many authors recognize that three-quarters of the major conflicts have a cultural dimension and that culture promotes sustainable development of the country, as well as the fact that differences are what represent a positive potential because thanks to them we can complement each other, achieving not only economic growth but also an improvement in our lives on an intellectual, moral, spiritual and emotional level. Cultural diversity is a valuable resource for achieving development goals, whether it is to promote policies for gender equality, quality education or to combat poverty. For this reason, introducing cultural diversity into our sustainable strategy is of great importance.
Everyone contributes from their differences, and many companies value this diversity as an axis and engine of success. In fact, they propose to adopt a strategy of diversity and inclusion that must be aligned with the mission, behaviors and commitments that are promoted at all levels of the organization. Such as: being open, inclusive, inspiring and executing transformation, leading by example and contributing to team development.
In short, the development of policies and actions with specific business objectives, communication campaigns and inclusive awareness, training programs and inclusive awareness as well as the proper management of diversity and inclusion that generate initiatives in which we all contribute, are an important factor in making our sustainable strategy work.
Noralí Ailén Contreras – Student of Master’s Degree in Marketing Management and International Responsible Commerce
- PALACIOS RIZZO, A. y ROMAÑACH CABRERO, J. (2006): El modelo de la diversidad: La Bioética y los Derechos Humanos como herramientas para alcanzar la plena dignidad en la diversidad funcional. La Coruña: Ediciones Diversitas-AlES.