The Importance and Benefits of Diversity | Teen Ink

The Importance and Benefits of Diversity

May 14, 2012
By Sarah Tenas BRONZE, Missouri City, Texas
Sarah Tenas BRONZE, Missouri City, Texas
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Diversity can be defined as people coming together from different races, nationalities, religions and sexes to form a group, organization or community. A diverse organization is one that values the difference in people. It is one that recognizes that people with different backgrounds, skills, attitudes and experiences bring fresh ideas and perceptions. Diverse organizations encourage and harness these differences to make their services relevant and approachable. Diverse organizations draw upon the widest possible range of views and experiences so it can listen to and meet the changing needs of its users. The encouragement of diversity benefits society.

In society today, most people view diversity as a good thing because it gives people the chance to experience different things outside of what they are normally accustomed to. Diversity in America is openly viewed as a beneficial bacterium, so many backgrounds and not knowing which ones are good and which ones are bad.

Diversity as a wide component is a tricky thing to use and understand because it has both negative and positive effects on society such as education, violence and employment. People have to dig deep to figure out what exactly the effect will be in the end and be patient to wait and see.

Studies show that the lack of cohesion between races, sexes and cultures is due to mistrust, stereotyping, and more within-culture conversation and language problems. When these problems are not paid attention to it may lead to an inability to endorse ideas, the inability to gain agreement on decisions, and inability to take united action. In the educational system it is very important that there is a wide array of diverse groups in the classroom, “It is important to have a diverse student body, not only to create a realistic setting but also to encourage people to grow outside their boundaries and learn something new about a culture they may not be familiar with.” (Pendulum 1). By accomplishing this in the classroom you can avoid child unawareness and actually enlighten them about other things that go on around them with people they may be friends with or know. Another factor in a less diverse student population is bullying. Students who are different are often targets for bullying. Often when people lack knowledge of things that they are not accustomed to they are quick to judge or stereotype and make ignorant decisions. “Diversity is a positive thing, not something to fear” (Pendulum 1).

The different aspects of diversity are very important. “People of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds have been an integral part of Penn State School of Nursing for many years” (“Our History of Diversity” 1). From so small to something bigger, diversity plays a major role everywhere every day. In some colleges diversity has been around for many years regardless of what social, racial and ethnic differences there were. “Children exposed to diverse cultures in the classroom learn to understand different points of view, which is an important part of education” (Canadian Teachers 1). This can sum up why diversity in the classroom is such an important part of a child’s development, by the child being exposed to diverse cultures the child can get a better understanding of why the child dresses this way, acts that way or can’t eat this or that. “The result is that children will question their own beliefs and understand how their own culture influences the way they see the world” (Canadian Teacher 1).

Diversity can create curiosity. By being exposed to different people and cultures, a student may want to learn more about a particular group which can give them insight into how and why things work as they do and possibly a way to change them for the better.

For some students being in a diverse school or college can prepare them for the real world, where they can take a stance on a subject and be able to voice their opinion from an informed point of view, “It enhances America’s economic competitiveness” (“On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” 1). Everyone has something unique about them to bring to the table, and with everyone’s strengths being used together they can make anything better. One single person can’t always do things alone and with the different talents of a diverse community something with potential can be strengthened. Overall, “diversity in their student bodies, faculties, and staff is important for them to fulfill their primary mission: providing a quality education” (“On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” 1). A quality education does not come without learning something about race, religion, and culture or what is expected and what is not. Having a diverse school setting is beneficial because you learn more and so operate in the real world with a better view and understanding.

Diversity is not being encouraged throughout America; in fact some cultures would rather have contact only within that family or race, or even that religion. Some people are not persuaded that their children need to be in a diverse setting or experience one. In today’s global society, without any prior knowledge of other people; when a person actually gets out into the real world their often stuck with a limited view of the world, and what to expect. In reality, the work place has every gender, ethnic group and religion. It is like saying if you say the wrong thing you may think it is funny and others will find it offensive, you have to understand why if effects someone else that is of a different background. “Learning about other countries and other cultures is part of the public school curriculum. Having children from other countries and cultures in the classroom can be a positive experience for teachers and students (Canadian Teacher, 1). It is proven that by valuing diversity, organizations bring benefits to the people they work with, their local communities, as well as to themselves.

Society is diverse just because of the existence of people; there are differences even within the same group. For example: “One in five adults and one in 20 children are disabled in some way” (“Valuing Diversity” 1).
“One in 12 people are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and figure rises to one in eight of under 16 year olds”(“Valuing Diversity” 1).
“One in 20 people who have a religious belief belong to a faith community other than Christian” (“Valuing Diversity” 1).
“One in four people are under 16 and one in six are under 65” (“Valuing Diversity” 1).

Diversity is not always just what background you come from but is any unique difference between human beings. Diversity includes physical appearance, religious belief, and race but your opinions and thoughts and the impact they make on society are also part of diversity.

We learn from people who have different experiences, beliefs and perspectives on things. “Diversity enriches the educational experience”(“On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” 1). By hearing different opinions from people who you may totally disagree with, they can possibly persuade you to their side or at least get you to understand what their argument is really about. “Diversity promotes personal growth and a healthy society”(“On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” 1). Diversity changes stereotypes in communities, what people once thought can easily be changed and can bring the community much closer because of it. “It strengthens communities and the workplace”(“On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” 1).

An approach to understanding diversity is something much like Newcomb’s theory of social attraction. “Similarity on attributes such as attitudes, values, and beliefs will facilitate interpersonal attraction and liking, and vice versa.” (Mannix, Neale 1). Diversity may be beneficial but it does not work if people take a liking to others that are okay just like them, having to do with race, attitudes, views and beliefs.

In his classic research on cultural diversity, Harry C. Triandis found that members of culturally dissimilar groups were less likely to be attracted to one another and had more difficulty communicating with each other than members of culturally homogeneous groups did (Mannix, Neale 1). Different cultural groups will find it slightly uncomfortable to talk about what they celebrate and believe in because the other person does not share the same beliefs as they do. It makes it harder for them to talk and often they are being judged because it is not something that would normally interest them or does not interest any other cultural background.

One study has revealed that “immigration and diversity not only reduce social capital between ethnic groups, but also within groups themselves” (Leo 1) this means that regardless of ethnic background, diversity is often affected within smaller groups. Even communication between the members in the same group is affected. They are not as willing to talk openly about certain things because they think people cannot relate to them or would not understand or cannot be trusted. “The problem is not ethnic conflict or troubled racial relations, but withdrawal and isolation”(Leo 1). There are some people that live in more diverse settings that tend to keep to themselves more and shut everyone out. Putnam says, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television”(Leo 1). Diversity can affect a person in a negative way. For example, a person may start to feel as if they cannot turn to close friends or family because they do not hold the same traditions as everyone else, and since they are different there is not anyone they can express themselves to. So instead of communicating with others they would rather bottle it up and settle with being unhappy and withdraw from the general society.

Most authorities tend to disagree with this; they believe that diversity is more beneficial to society than it is harmful. “From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger” (Jonas 3). Diversity is the many differences that different backgrounds hold. Within those backgrounds are differences that make and improve people. We should celebrate the differences and learn to work together.

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This article has 25 comments.

overlin said...
on Feb. 21 2019 at 8:24 am
overlin, Shillong, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
how to reap the benefit of the children in the diverse world?

on Jul. 27 2018 at 3:03 pm
Sarah Tenas BRONZE, Missouri City, Texas
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I find it funny to come back on here to read some of the comments to a paper I wrote when I was 14 or 15 to have re-edited it so that I could post it here when I was 17. I’m now 25. My view points on a lot of things have changed so people commenting in 2017 would definitely view this as me being naive because I wrote it when I didn’t really know anything (or rather enough) about the world. 🤷🏾‍♀️ But to say it’s ridiculous is a long shot.

Also apologies to those who asked for my works cited page, I hadn’t realized I didn’t include it.

on Sep. 22 2017 at 9:52 pm
Wiseman125 BRONZE, Granite Falls, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings-always darker, emptier and simpler" -Friedrich Nietzche

Diversity doesn't matter. You know what does, meritocracy. Also, how are we supposed to get more diverse? All of the ways I've heard are authoritarian and racist. I say keep it the same, its worked for generations, why struggle to change it?

on May. 24 2017 at 8:49 pm
I agree. Diversity captures the realm of experiences in music, art, and life.

Emmy said...
on Jan. 10 2017 at 4:27 am
Thanks Alot

Emmy said...
on Jan. 10 2017 at 4:27 am
Thanks Alot

Kgundy26 said...
on Feb. 29 2016 at 9:20 am
1. I mostly enjoy off the wall bands and singers; I listen to a whole bunch of types of music.
2. I believe this can be said both ways. If I'm sad I listen to less upbeat songs but if an upbeat song happens to come on I feel much happier.
3. My best friends listen to songs on the radio, all modern stuff. I like their music but I do prefer slightly dated music.
4. I do agree with the statement. When people listen to different genres of music it opens them up to different things.
5. I feel like people do judge based on the music people listen to. For example, I listen to Ed Sheeran, but I also listen to a Rage Against The Machine- two very different genres with two very different connotations to the music.
6. My parents don't filter my music. They don't care what I listen to because I'm not negatively influenced by music.

Ciara said...
on Feb. 29 2016 at 9:16 am
1. all over the place
2. both
3. my friends listen to all different kinds of music
4. I agree because listening to music can broaden your perspective.
5. No.
6. No.

awcc said...
on Feb. 5 2016 at 1:12 pm
This is a brilliant piece of work and has contributed greatly to my research on these issues. THANK YOU

on Jan. 27 2016 at 4:51 pm
I've never read someone who has speaks such sophistry with such conviction. Your reasoning for encouraging diversity can be summed up into "They bring fresh ideas and help us to understand our differences". Before I get into how ridiculously unfounded that reasoning is, let me first tell you that the rest of your article revolves around stating quotes from various leftist "researchers" and your own opinions, neither of which are reputable sources of evidence, nor are of any value to debate. You, (understandably given the fact that your thoughts are young and malleable) are confusing diversity with multiculturalism. It is fair to say that to "have new experiences", you do not need a person from another country living in the house next to you. Cultural tourism is a very successful industry, but it's actually in decline. That's because we aren't achieving multiculturalism. We're causing uniculturalism. As a British man, (straight and white; you must hate me..), I can tell you in person that celebration of British culture is at an all time low. Traditions are side-lined to maintain "Social cohesion" with new arrivals, patriotism is "racist" and is bigotry. So when a white man stands up for western values, he gets shouted down by his countrymen for failing to acknowledge some "privilege" he has. The only "fresh" ideas migrants have provided are self-censorship, and self-loathing for the actions of our ancestors. The rest of these migrants have surrendered their own cultures and assimilated a distorted version of our own, and we theirs, leaving a cultural wasteland, formally called uniculturalism. That's why tourism is on the decline. Foreign nations are becoming westernised, and are losing their charm. Western nations are becoming apologist regressives, and are losing our own identity. With immigration, they either want to integrate, and lose their cultural charm, or they dont want to, and they become marginalised lunatics telling us how horrible we are.

Samvasile said...
on Jan. 24 2016 at 7:22 pm
Solid report. Really opened my eyes about guns. Nice job Miguel

tiffuhhh_ GOLD said...
on Jul. 30 2015 at 4:12 pm
tiffuhhh_ GOLD, Yuba City, California
10 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness is never grand."

Thank you so much!

puru said...
on Jul. 27 2015 at 11:45 pm
Good beta I like it

anonymous said...
on Jul. 9 2015 at 2:31 pm
Diversity is not nonsense and the reason why Miami is not 'successful in trading' and other cultures are not bringing 'cultural enrichment' as you claimed is probably because imbecilic racists like you are not allowing this to happen because you are oppressing these individuals. Also if they did bring 'cultural enrichment it wouldn't be accepted by the 'dwindling whites' and they would complain that the Hispanics are 'taking over their country 'etc. So either way they won't be satisfied because they racist and nothing satisfies a racist person if it isn't the other race moving out of 'their' country

Snorgert said...
on May. 18 2015 at 6:33 pm
Diversity is the the gradual phasing out of White people.

Z-Man said...
on Apr. 29 2015 at 3:27 am
Who or what is Pendulum 1 I can't find a quote on this guy/thing anywhere.

on Apr. 17 2015 at 3:39 am
.I got you eric and yu may be right

Peach xD said...
on Apr. 6 2015 at 11:57 am
where is your citation page or references? I would love to know where you are get most of this.

bobfred9625 said...
on Mar. 19 2015 at 2:37 pm
so what are the benefits of diversity?

Eric said...
on Feb. 28 2015 at 3:00 pm
I have never read so much deluded liberal nonsense. If diversity is such an important asset, why is it that Japan, one of the most racially homogeneous nations in the world, is probably the most successful trading nation in the World? Racial diversity is also supposed to bring cultural enrichment, but what, in the way of authentic culture have Miami's dwindling whites gained from the fact that the city is now over 70 percent Hispanic? Many government agencies and private companies hire professional "diversity managers" to help handle mixed work forces. This is a new profession, which did not exist before the idea that diversity is a strength. It is a very peculiar "strength" that requires the constant attention of experts to police and reinforce it.