NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Maria Gerlinger
The ability to communicate with one another is essential in work and life, just from the elementary standpoint of survival. However, in the workplace, clear communication is essential for the employees’ productivity, safety and wellbeing.
We have all heard stories about highly-skilled, internationally-trained professionals who are wasting time in low-wage jobs. Primarily, it is attributed to inadequate professional language skills, which can only be overcome with decades of re-learning their profession in English.
We also heard about the high rate of entrepreneurialism among immigrants, but it is not always about choice, many times it is a necessity due to lack of proficient professional language and communication skills, which hinders them finding acceptable job opportunities.
Speaking with individuals from various diverse groups, they often express their struggles and experiences that hinders their growth, job opportunities and self-expression. This can result in emotional turmoil and may even cause isolation to the point of feeling like an outsider. However, it is not just immigrants who have issues with communicating their differences. Today, diversity is highly politicized and publicized, making communication with others not only challenging but almost fearful. It is important however to speak up about such challenges when the opportunity provides itself.
The US population is one big diversity group (if you think about it, we are all part of one or more identifiable diversity groups – just for example: age, gender, sex). Nonetheless, when it comes to some workplaces, developing a functional diverse workforce is a challenge. Companies often don’t understand why a diverse workplace is necessary and leads to success. However, if we just consider the diversity of the US population, one would assume that companies would want to tap into those “markets” and be able to communicate with their clients in an effective manner and as result, grow their business.
Companies with the intent to do just that, will be more likely to embrace diversity by hiring representatives of diverse groups to help them with reaching higher company goals. Companies can hire marketing firms for a large sum of money to appeal to various diversity groups. However, unless the company culture itself embraces diversity and has internal input, such marketing campaigns will not be able to truly communicate company values and why individuals of various diversity groups should use their products or services.
This goes back to communication and understanding. Do we understand diversity, or do we just like to talk about it? Valuing diversity means creating a work environment that respects and includes difference, recognizing the unique contributions and maximizes the potential of all employees.
Save the date for the NCET Biz Café on on September 19, 2018 at 3 p.m., which will provide an opportunity to discuss “How a diverse workforce improves your bottom line.”
Maria Gerlinger is Account Executive at CoStar Group, Inc. and NCET’s VP of Enterprise. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.