diversity and inclusion
That's how you put on a show!
In the past few days, business leaders across the U.S. have spoken out against President Trump's executive order on immigration. Indeed, the business case for diversity is compelling. Having different opinions at the table is critical for innovation in the information age.
During a recent visit to my hometown of St. John's, I went to a busy restaurant to meet friends for lunch. The hostess asked my name. "Bolu," I started. After she refused to take my first name, I began with my last name. "O-g-u-n ..." but was abruptly cut off by the visibly irritated hostess. My name was an inconvenience to her -- too foreign, apparently.
Both in terms of formal programs and corporate philosophy, genuine sponsorship is known to be effective at accelerating careers; but, unlike more established mentorship programs, is not at all widely used.
What makes us hate has been theorized since the beginning of time. Shakespeare wrote about hate and violence. But what is rarely discussed is what we need to do beyond the wailing and the gnashing of teeth. It all starts with how we run our business, our schools and our governments.
As Canadians, we pride ourselves on our diversity and acceptance and, while things have come a long way in a short period of time and progress continues to be made, the survey results show that more needs to be done. As employers, we have an opportunity to pay attention, learn and be better.
While we may find that there are some dangerous strangers, to decide that we should make negative assumptions about everyone we do not know is downright foolish. It is time to go back to celebrating the fact that our Canada is a welcoming and tolerant country in which we raise our children to respect and include all of us.
My university Creative Writing teacher once said something that felt like it was directed at me. She said something along the lines of how the young kid in the classroom who is always staring off into space or out the window, lost in her/his thoughts, is not the bad student, he/she is simply the writer of the bunch. It helped me to move past years of self-doubt and anger. I wasn't stupid. I was a writer.
For the same reasons women should be invited to the decision-making table, visible minorities and immigrants can offer perspectives which elude multi-generational Canadians with respect to common issues and situations they may face.