Diversity and Inclusion: a personal experience

Il testo del mio intervento al convegno della Comunità Europea “Diversity and Inclusion” a Cipro.
Nel rispetto della “diversità”, il testo è stato volutamente lasciato nella lingua originale in cui era stato scritto.

I wish to give my personal contribution on the issue of diversity and inclusion.
I would like to tell you about one of my experiences in a company where I’ve worked at as COACH within a process of multicultural integration.
This European firm was to merge with another firm that was completely different as far as culture and daily procedures and habits.
I was faced with substantial problems concerning ‘diversity’; I worked using a coaching approach that started from making the most of what people working for the two firms had in common.

Therefore, by exploiting common characteristics that UNITED people I gave my contribution in creating harmony. By working hard we managed to spot each and every common trait that the employees had among each other.
I worked with the managers in charge of infrastructures, offices and operations concentrating on what was there and on the opportunities that could arise from the integration of diversity.

An example: diversity in religions. We faced the issue of religious festivities. One of the firms didn’t work on Saturdays nor on Sundays whereas the other firm didn’t have any fixed day that the employees should be off on.
Just imagine what this means for any manager who has to run a business with people who can take off without a fixed schedule.

It wasn’t easy but by starting from the situation that the firm was at (as is situation) we sorted out the details and the specifics belonging to each department and person creating satisfaction for everyone allowing the firm to grow its profits and productivity exponentially.

This process has lasted one year so far and has yielded significant results.
Considering that, I’d like to share with you this thought: I strongly believe that the issue of diversity is ‘subjective’.
If the issue is considered as a problem, it will than be dealt with as a PROBLEM whenever we are interacting with diversity.

It is undeniable that diversity is a very difficult and tricky social issue to deal with but it is also true that societies and companies are made of people. We are the ones who choose to perceive diversity as a critical issue.

Handicapped people have an OBJECTIVE problem; women have a natural diversity due to their natural and intrinsic nature of being females. People of different religions are different due to their practices and customs.
However, as different as people might be, they are still PEOPLE, human beings with their intrinsic value, with their skills unique to them that can mean added value if given the chance to express themselves.

We can all – as people – potentially be an asset and be considered as a PROFIT, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Thank you for your attention and I hope that my contribution can help in spotting and solving problems concerning the issue of diversity.

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