Diversity Matters

Up close, nobody’s ‘normal’, but luckily diversity is a form of wealth that the world is learning to acknowledge and appreciate. Welcome to the age of diversity

  • Diversity Matters

What’s diversityAny manifestation of the self that moves away from what we could define as ‘perceived normality’. In the digital era, even someone who never leaves home can get in touch with the most different lifestyles and choose the right one for themselves. Yet the chance to get to know all the alternatives hardly coincides with the freedom to truly experience them. So how can we persuade the world to accept differences? By showing it how they could improve our lives and benefit individuals, companies and markets, adding new opportunities to solve a problem or suggesting a new perspective to tell a fact or an idea.
It is therefore no coincidence that the UN has long started to promote initiatives in this direction. UNESCO issued the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity documentin 2001, and designated May 21st the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in 2002 to raise awareness on these issues.
Companies are catching up by hiring "diversity managers", whereas universities and foundations offer masters and research workshops focused on diversity. In short, diversity as a resource has become a thing and it is (also) turning into business.
Diversity In The Media
Observing how, where, and when we talk about diversity can reveal a lot about how its perception is evolving.Diversity is an Italian association founded in 2013 with the aim of promoting ​​diversity as a value and a resource, which launched among other things the Diversity Media Watch Observatory to follow the evolution of public discourse on these issues.
"Italian society is much more sensitive to the issue of inclusion than it might seem”, explains Francesca Vecchioni, founder of Diversity. "In everyday life we ​​are constantly in contact with people who belong to one of the areas of diversity; actually we are all diverse in one respect or another, maybe without even realizing it. Discrimination occurs not only on sexual orientation, but also on gender, age, socio-economic status or disability, ethnicity or religion".
The 2018 Diversity Media Report carried out a research on Italian TV news and entertainment shows in collaboration with various Italian universities (diversitylab.it), and the result was somewhat surprising: although politics hardly ever deals with diversity, TV shows depict a varied and diversified society which is very close to reality.
That diversity touches the sensitivity of increasingly large sections of the population is also demonstrated by the results of companies that include it in their communication. "Today", continues Francesca Vecchioni, "companies that do not understand the value of inclusion and diversity are destined to fall behind. The data emerging from the Diversity Brand Index (Diversitybrandsummit.it) research are clear: inclusion policies have generated almost 17% more revenues than average for the companies that are perceived as more inclusive. Our aim is to combine the ethical and economic values of diversity".
Diversity, it appears, is a resource and a tool for anticipating and shaping the future of brands, companies and organizations. Integrating differences is a great way to address all the audiences they represent, understanding theirs needs and sensitivity. And the side effect, which certainly does not hurt, is a growth of our economic and social well-being.

Author : The Slowear Journal


diversity  | inclusivity  | fighting prejudice  |

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