The Importance of Diversity to Leadership

  1. Diversity is key to leadership because it brings so much more knowledge to the table. People from different backgrounds or cultures have experienced vastly different things from one another and thus what’s important to one group of people may not be on the forefront of another group’s concern. Diversity enables leaders to see a wider variety of areas in which improvement is needed and it provides a wider variety of ideas to approach the issue and bring about positive change. Diversity ensures everyone has a say in the project and in leading the project forward. Also, diversity leads to a broader world view and understanding which would not be possible otherwise. Thus, diversity opens more doors for positive change and equality.

2.  In the U.S. where there is tension around diversity, it’s important to teach kids at an early age to appreciate diversity. I was fortunate enough to grow up where diversity was highly valued. My best friend in elementary school was from Nepal and it was always eye opening to learn about her traditions and her language. It was so different from my own, but taught me so much about a part of the world I never would’ve payed attention to if not for her. I also had a classmate in elementary school from Tibet and it was from him that I learned of the struggle for Tibetan independence. I also had many classmates who were from Mexico or their families were. Diversity and community were highly valued at my high school. I graduated realizing all four of my closest friends were bilingual. I feel my own appreciation for diversity arose because of the relationships I formed with these people. I found I learned so much more just in conversation with them than anywhere else. In addition to valuing diversity in the education system, it’s important for people to address their biases and recognize where they come from and how the prejudices they hold are likely not true.

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