University of Phoenix
Instructor: Mindy Saari
December 8, 2014
Abstract What is diversity and what does it mean to you? To some it means how many different types of people there are in one area for places such as jobs, schools, and churches. The actual definition of diversity is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. To sum that up in one word, variety. Diversity however does not always relate to people. You can have an entire jar of red jelly beans, add some green, and then add a few orange and so on. You just diversified your jar of jelly beans. There is no longer only one type or color of jelly bean in your jar. Makes your jar a little more interesting doesn’t it? Well that is the way it is supposed to work with people too. Only sometimes, it isn’t that easy. To start things off, we will look at the dimensions of cultural diversity and compare how they relate to us a human beings.
Dimensions of Cultural Diversity We live in a diverse world there are no two ways about it. Our world is composite of many different cultures, values, and interactions. There are many different dimensions of diversity which include; race, religion, sexual orientation, language, education, age, and education. These are just a few of the many different examples of cultural diversity. There are two levels of dimensions, primary and secondary. The primary levels which are age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and physical/mental abilities cannot be changed. They have the most effect on us. The secondary levels include; income, religion, education, geographical location, and marital status. While these dimensions help to shape who we are, we still have the ability to control them. So of all of our differences, which stand out the most? Our skin color would probably be the most noticeable followed by our gender. Next would be our age and outward appearance. These are all physical traits and are the first thing a person see’s about another person. You cannot see a person’s education level, religion, or income from first glance. You could guess, but they are definitely not the first thing that you notice.
My social circle I definitely work in a culturally diversified job. I am a full time substitute teacher for a learning academy for behaviorally, emotionally, and academically challenged students. They come in from all types of different cultural backgrounds. I feel that it makes my job a little more colorful than most people’s and I have learned that at the end of the day, you just need to smile. The staff members that I work with are also very diverse. We have a great professional relationship and I love all of my coworkers. I would have to say though that I tend to talk to the white female co-workers that are closest to my age the most. I guess the reason is because we have so much in common. We have children the same age, shop at the same stores, and are interested in the same things. Sometimes we engage in group texting at night just to discuss our day and snap pictures of the wine we are drinking just to keep each other’s moods lightened. I would honestly be lost without my social circle of friends to be there for me when I need them the most.
Diversity vs Inclusion The easiest way for me to describe diversity and inclusion is this: diversity is the mix and inclusion is getting the mix to work well together. Diversity is when you can take a dimension and use it to differentiate groups and people from one another. Remember the jelly bean example earlier in this paper. I created diversity by adding different colors of jelly beans within the same jar. Inclusion on the other hand is like baking a cake. Let’s say that a diverse race of people are the ingredients in the cake. So we have eggs, flour, cocoa, butter, baking powder, milk, and sugar. Separately they are just a bunch of ingredients (people) but when they are mixed together they become a wonderful creation.