One year earlier, in America, they started talking about something entirely different. They were not talking about and debating the value of cultural diversity in the workplace (because this is widely agreed upon and legislatively supported- see below.) They were talking about the value of diverse thinking.
On September 27, 2013, exactly one year before SIT held its panel discussion, Business Insider published an article titled Why 'Thought Diversity' Is The Future Of The Workplace:
"According to a recent study by consulting and professional services company Deloitte, cultivating "diversity of thought" at your business can boost innovation and creative problem-solving. People bring different cultures, backgrounds, and personalities to the table — and those differences shape how they think. Some people are analytical thinkers, while others thrive in creative zones. Some are meticulous planners, and others love spontaneity. By mixing up the types of thinkers in the workplace, Deloitte believes companies can stimulate creativity, spur insight, and increase efficiency. Varying the types of thinkers in a company also helps guard against "groupthink," a dangerous tendency in groups to focus first and foremost on group conformity, often at the expense of making good decisions."
So, now-- October 10, 2014 in Sweden we are asking a few questions such as
"What is stopping companies from hiring foreign academics who come here with both education and experience plus a drive to succeed and contribute to their new homeland?"
"Why is global competence undervalued in a country where the local market measures just 9 million and which therefore must look to foreign markets for more customers?"
"Why don't the workforces in Swedish businesses reflect the composition of the Swedish society, 15% of which (conservatively) is made up of people who come from foreign lands?"
Can we even hope to achieve the ground-breaking thought diversity if we are still talking about the value of cultural diversity?
Some food for thought as to why inclusion in the workforce is widespread in America:
The article, The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace By Pallab Dutta on eHow states:
- The diversity in the workplace in America today reflects the multicultural and multi-ethnic characteristics of the nation itself.
- The Equal Opportunities Employment executive order put in place by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 veritably democratized the workplace opportunities and career growth avenues for all Americans.
- Globalization and competitive jobs-based visas such as H 1-B and L-1 have also ensured the presence of employees of various nationalities in the workplace.
- Diversity in the workplace enables corporations, businesses and federal government agencies to attract all-round talent, tap newer markets, have good governance policies and enjoy holistic corporate growth.