In the fields of business leadership, human resources, and talent management, "diversity and inclusion" is more than just a buzzphrase; it's become a ubiquitous topic of discussion at conferences, around boardroom tables, and even at the proverbial watercooler.
An effective D&I strategy focuses on recognizing all the differences between people and leveraging those differences (including abilities/disabilities, education, work experience, ethnicity, military service, socioeconomics, generation, background, and more) to build a stronger organizational culture.
A common misconception is that increasing the diversity levels in an organization will make it more difficult to manage. "People think managing diversity is more difficult because of different cultures," explained Elizabeth Strike, diversity and inclusion talent consultant at Associated Bank, Green Bay. "In reality, managing a team is difficult overall. No matter what the makeup, you need to understand your team members."
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