What Are the Pros and Cons of Cultural Diversity?

Cultural diversity brings together people with various skills, creativity and knowledge for effective productivity. A diverse group has increased adaptability, a variety of viewpoints on an issue and innovation. Challenges of diversity include communication problems, resistance to change, differences of opinions and stereotyping.

Cultural diversity occurs when an organization, a community or a group of people draws from different backgrounds including races, nationalities, religions, ages and sexes. An organization is considered diverse when it values and appreciates people’s differences in terms of skills, attitudes, experiences and perceptions. A diverse organization can benefit from these differences to make its products or services better. In a social setting, diversity breeds curiosity in people and gives them a chance to learn and experience practices and traditions from another culture. Diversity is central to organization’s ability to innovate and adapt to an increasingly changing environment.

Problems of cultural diversity include difficulties in managing people from various backgrounds. Language may be a barrier for communication across people from different cultures. In an organization with a great deal of focus on diversity, the majority group may feel that the minority group is given attention at the expense of the majority. At the same time, where there is no cohesion among the diverse groups, mistrust and stereotyping can occur.