Inherited and Acquired Diversity
Diversity can be both inherited and acquired. When people talk about the need for a more diverse group of people to solve problems, they usually think about race, gender, and sexual orientation. However, people can have acquired diversity such as an appreciation for a culture that is not your own or an experience selling products to a gender not their own. So in reality, you have the way society somewhat naturally treats you, and you have your own experiences with society. Both contribute to diversity and acquired diversity helps leadership, which is typically not as diverse, to understand and really hear everyone’s ideas.
Diversity also helps people’s ability to estimate the correct answer to a question. Given a stock simulation, people who were in diverse groups were much more likely to decide on an accurate price for the stock. According to the New York Times, those in non-diverse groups put extra faith in others and tended to be inaccurate in their estimations. This is why universities like diverse student bodies. It has been proven that more diverse groups of people perform better with specific problems and also finding problems and solving them.
I have not personally had an opportunity where a diverse group of people has made my community or my life better. I grew up in the suburbs and was surrounded by people not exactly like me, but they certainly were very similar. Most of the people going to my school were white, just like I am. The majority of students were not of middle class backgrounds but the people I surrounded myself with were definitely well-off if not even more wealthy than my parents were. The privilege that you have as a child of a well-off family makes you ignorant to many of the problems that a lot of my fellow students might have had. I may not have had an experience where I have worked with diverse people but at least I am aware of the privileges I had and homogenous student body I was in when I was growing up.
Yesterday, I found myself working with one of my friends for idea brainstorming. Recently we decided to start work on projects that are in many ways similar to the major one we are working on in this class. We were thinking of ideas when my friend says that there probably a lot of ways we could help the disabled on campus. It made me aware that for us that would be challenging if not impossible without a huge research stage. Neither of us are disabled, I do not believe we know anyone who is disabled here on campus, so thinking of ideas to help would not be possible. If we knew people like this, had friends like this, maybe we would have been able to think of something or just ask their opinion. We only ever thought of ideas that we could relate to, not that they were bad ideas, but we were severely limited in the quantity of quality ideas we could produce.
Diversity can only make people and groups stronger. With a more diverse group, more, wider ranging ideas can come forward and maybe even see them produced into a full solution. If we homogenize, these ideas to help society might never be heard, never be acted upon, and never create a better world for everyone.