Do you remember back in our school days when essay questions always started with “Compare and contrast…”.
Usually this was when writing essays for arts courses. So some of us have to go back to High School days. If you were in STEM like me, University was mainly projects or assignments rather than essays. Anyway, the idea was that you looked at something and did an analysis where you drew similarities and differences, and then came to some conclusion.
I think that we have often lost the art of compare. Compare seems to have morphed into another form of contrast. We compare and find something lacking. We compare ourselves to people and decide they are the other. Or we decide we have something lacking and it erodes our self-esteem.
For true diversity in our workplaces we need to find our way back to a proper compare. A need to look at diversity in the workplace as both seeing how people’s experiences are different and how they are the same, before we draw a conclusion.
We learn the most from people who are different from us. Though often true connection begins when we start the conversation with how we are the same.