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Nina: As you know, our team has grown a lot in the past year and we feel we need to address the diversity in the team.
Brenda: How do you mean, 'address the diversity'?
Nina: Well, we all know that diversity in teams is a good thing, but it can also be a challenge for some people to respect and value people's differences. We've got a really diverse team here – people of different nationalities, backgrounds, religions, ages … and sometimes I don't feel we make the most of this.
Stefano: Yes, and even if it isn't specifically challenging, many people are simply unaware of the isolation that some team members may feel because they are different.
Brenda: So, what does this mean? What are we going to do?
Nina: Well, we need to create a workplace charter. You know, one that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.
Brenda: That sounds like a good idea. But will people just see it as something the management team has created? Maybe they won't even pay attention to it.
Nina: I know. That's why we're going to involve everyone in creating it.
Stefano: That's a good idea. We could run some workshops and get ideas from the employees about how we can create a more inclusive workplace.
Nina: Exactly. I was thinking that before that we could run some team-building sessions so they can experience the value of diversity for themselves.
Brenda: Yes, I like that. Many people see diversity as something negative, often because there are different opinions or ways of doing things.
Nina: Yes, I know, but if there's no diversity, then the risk is that we all work in the same way, think the same and see the world the same. This makes it hard to be creative and to innovate.
Stefano: I completely agree, Nina. OK. So, what do you want us to do?
Nina: Stefano, can you look for a successful trainer who specialises in running workshops and team-building sessions on diversity and inclusion?
Stefano: Sure. I'll be happy to.
Nina: And Brenda, can you find a fun venue? Somewhere that is quite diverse itself. Something that's not the usual seminar-style environment?
Brenda: Sure. That'll be fun.
Nina: And I'm going to do some further research into how other organisations are benefiting from their diversity. I can share this with the whole team.
Inclusion here means being a part of the team or group and not being isolated or marginalised. If an organisation is inclusive then it welcomes people from any background and does not exclude them, and tries to be broad-based in terms of personnel and approach.
The LearnEnglish Team