from the world's big
Diversity and inclusion: Companies need both but there's a crucial difference
Though often used interchangeably, diversity and inclusion are two very different things. Most importantly, diversity without inclusion is mostly meaningless.
This series on diversity and inclusion is sponsored by Amway, which supports a prosperous economy through having a diverse workplace. Companies committed to diversity and inclusion are better equipped to innovate and drive performance. For more information, visit amwayglobal.com/our-story.
In an effort to allow us all to thrive, and to capitalize on our unique potential, there's been a growing awareness of the need to promote diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. Diversity and inclusion are often discussed together as a single thing, "D&I", which risks conflating their meanings. But they are very different concepts, each with its own challenges. And most importantly, diversity without inclusion is mostly meaningless.
“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance." — Verna Meyers
Who are we?
As a country of immigrants and a nation that puts so much value on being an individual, the United States is rich human mosaic, and one of tremendous fluidity. According to the Pew Research Center, there will be no majority racial group in the country by 2065 with the white population dropping to about 46%. Hispanics will be at 24%, Asians at 14%, and the black population at 13%. Gallup finds that 10 million Americans (about 4.1%) currently identify as LGBT, though the U.S. Census Bureau will only begin asking about same-sex marriages with the 2020 census. Our beliefs are in flux as well. White Christians are currently less than half the population as more people self-report being atheist. When it comes to age, the labor pool is made up of people of all ages, with nearly half of those over 55 still working or looking for work.
Any view of America as any one thing—color, gender, or religion, for example—bears little relation to reality, and this is truer each day.
America is diversifying, make no mistake. And so, inevitably, will its workforce.
The basic definitions of diversity and inclusion
Diversity can be defined as 'the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization...'
That seems simple enough, and it is. In the workplace, it's about giving equal opportunity to all individuals, regardless of the social groups they belong to. “It's easy to measure diversity: It's a simple matter of headcount," say Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid in their article in Harvard Business Review.
Being part of a company is one thing but inclusiveness is about being given a genuine role in the business through an environment that welcomes and values your input.
While companies need to be concerned with both diversity and inclusion, the principal responsibilities for achieving each lie in two different departments, and must ultimately be addressed separately. Diversity occurs during hiring. Inclusion involves maintaining a professional and productive atmosphere where all employees feel like a valuable part of an organization.
The diversity challenge
Given that diversity is so tangibly trackable, it may be as far as some companies get. It's checkbox-ready: “Do we have enough of these, these, and these?" A company can demonstrably diversify its workforce, present the numbers to stockholders and customers, and this checkbox gets checked. Unfortunately, without inclusion, it simply results having a more varied group of disenfranchised employees. Katherine Reynolds Lewis puts it well:
It's not enough to have a Benetton-like rainbow of colors and genders throughout a company's annual report, executive ranks, or even around the boardroom table. The key is when those diverse perspectives and individuals actually have an impact on the decisions that are made at a company.
The inclusion challenge
It may be harder to measure, but it's widely understood that inclusion can be absolutely key to success, even beyond its relationship to diversity. In truth, current business strategy suggests that it's always important to get from each employee what he or she uniquely has to offer, regardless of a company's demographic makeup. A lack of inclusion holds back any business, undermining the potential inherent in any group of employees, diversified or not.
Inclusiveness requires effective, mutually rewarding leader-employee interaction, and it depends on a range of soft skills on the part of management. These are hard to teach and learn, but they're essential skills for any successful leader.
One key to successfully promoting inclusion for a diverse workforce is to ensure that each person is viewed as an individual with his or her own talents and needs, and not via some demographic shorthand. Further, it's a great idea to construct diverse project teams to establish relationships beyond existing social boundaries. And there's no need to worry that an invitation to participate could offend someone born outside the U.S., either. Research shows that inclusive management is highly regarded in today's business world across the globe. Inclusion works everywhere.
The opportunity of inclusion
An inclusive workplace results in employees experiencing greater job satisfaction due to a more deeply felt commitment. This, in turn, leads to less employee turnover, and that saves money and time. Inclusion also increases an employee's investment in the company and allows the development of a deeper understanding of its business. The employee's input becomes ever more useful.
Diversity hand-in-hand with inclusion holds even more potential, with a profoundly expanded pool of ideas, suggestions, and opinions available thanks to the rich variety of experiences and perspectives of a diversified workforce. Viewed from this angle, diversity sets up an exciting opportunity to fully leverage what each and every one of us has to offer.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.
Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.
But science loves a good challenge<p>The mystery remained unsolved until 2005, when French scientists <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~audoly/" target="_blank">Basile Audoly</a> and <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~neukirch/" target="_blank">Sebastien Neukirch </a>won an <a href="https://www.improbable.com/ig/" target="_blank">Ig Nobel Prize</a>, an award given to scientists for real work which is of a less serious nature than the discoveries that win Nobel prizes, for finally determining why this happens. <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/spaghetti/audoly_neukirch_fragmentation.pdf" target="_blank">Their paper describing the effect is wonderfully funny to read</a>, as it takes such a banal issue so seriously. </p><p>They demonstrated that when a rod is bent past a certain point, such as when spaghetti is snapped in half by bending it at the ends, a "snapback effect" is created. This causes energy to reverberate from the initial break to other parts of the rod, often leading to a second break elsewhere.</p><p>While this settled the issue of <em>why </em>spaghetti noodles break into three or more pieces, it didn't establish if they always had to break this way. The question of if the snapback could be regulated remained unsettled.</p>
Physicists, being themselves, immediately wanted to try and break pasta into two pieces using this info<p><a href="https://roheiss.wordpress.com/fun/" target="_blank">Ronald Heisser</a> and <a href="https://math.mit.edu/directory/profile.php?pid=1787" target="_blank">Vishal Patil</a>, two graduate students currently at Cornell and MIT respectively, read about Feynman's night of noodle snapping in class and were inspired to try and find what could be done to make sure the pasta always broke in two.</p><p><a href="http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-mathematicians-solve-age-old-spaghetti-mystery-0813" target="_blank">By placing the noodles in a special machine</a> built for the task and recording the bending with a high-powered camera, the young scientists were able to observe in extreme detail exactly what each change in their snapping method did to the pasta. After breaking more than 500 noodles, they found the solution.</p>
The apparatus the MIT researchers built specifically for the task of snapping hundreds of spaghetti sticks.
(Courtesy of the researchers)
What possible application could this have?<p>The snapback effect is not limited to uncooked pasta noodles and can be applied to rods of all sorts. The discovery of how to cleanly break them in two could be applied to future engineering projects.</p><p>Likewise, knowing how things fragment and fail is always handy to know when you're trying to build things. Carbon Nanotubes, <a href="https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/carbon-nanotube-space-elevator" target="_self">super strong cylinders often hailed as the building material of the future</a>, are also rods which can be better understood thanks to this odd experiment.</p><p>Sometimes big discoveries can be inspired by silly questions. If it hadn't been for Richard Feynman bending noodles seventy years ago, we wouldn't know what we know now about how energy is dispersed through rods and how to control their fracturing. While not all silly questions will lead to such a significant discovery, they can all help us learn.</p>
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think.
Women today are founding more businesses than ever. In 2018, they made up 40% of new entrepreneurs, yet in that same year, they received just 2.2% of all venture capital investment. The playing field is off-balance. So what can women do?
In a recent study, researchers examined how Christian nationalism is affecting the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A new study used survey data to examine the interplay between Christian nationalism and incautious behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The researchers defined Christian nationalism as "an ideology that idealizes and advocates a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture."
- The results showed that Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior.
A pastor at the chapel of the St. Josef Hospital on April 1, 2020 in Bochum, German
Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images<p>Christian nationalists, in general, believe the U.S. and God's will are tied together, and they want the government to embody conservative Christian values and symbols. As such, they also believe the nation's fate depends on how closely it adheres to Christianity.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unsurprisingly then, in the midst of the COVID‐19 pandemic, conservative pastors prophesied God's protection over the nation, citing America's righteous support for President Trump and the prolife agenda," the researchers write.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Correspondingly, the link between Christian nationalism and God's influence on how COVID‐19 impacts America can be seen in proclamations about God's divine judgment for its immorality―with the logic being that God is using the pandemic to draw wayward America <em>back </em>to himself, which assumes the two belong together."</p><p>The logical conclusion to this kind of thinking: America can save itself not through cautionary measures, like mask-wearing, but through devotion to God. What's more, it stands to reason that Christian nationalists are less likely to trust the media and scientists, given that these sources are generally not concerned with promoting a conservative, religious view of the world.</p><p>(The researchers note that they're unaware of any research directly linking Christian nationalism to distrust of media sources, but that they're almost certain the two are connected.)</p>
Predicted values of Americans' frequency of incautious behaviors during the COVID‐19 pandemic across values of Christian nationalism
Perry et al.<p>In the new study, the researchers examined three waves of results from the Public and Discourse Ethics Survey. One wave of the survey was issued in May, and it asked respondents to rate how often they engaged in both incautious and precautionary behaviors.</p><p>Incautious behaviors included things like "ate inside a restaurant" and "went shopping for nonessential items," while precautionary behaviors included "washed my hands more often than typical" and "wore a mask in public."</p><p>To measure Christian nationalism, the researchers asked respondents to rate how strongly they agree with statements like "the federal government should advocate Christian values" and "the success of the United States is part of God's plan."</p><p>The results suggest that, compared to other groups, Christian nationalists are far less likely to wear masks, socially distance and take other precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior during the pandemic, and the second leading predictor that Americans avoided taking precautionary measures."</p><p>But that's not to say that religious beliefs are causing Americans to reject mask-wearing or social distancing. In fact, when the study accounted for Christian nationalist beliefs, the results showed that Americans with high levels of religiosity were likely to take precautionary measures for COVID-19.</p>
Limitations<p>Still, the researchers note that they're theorizing about the connections between Christian nationalism and COVID-19 behaviors, not documenting them directly. What's more, they suggest that certain experiences — such as having a family member that contracts COVID-19 — might change a Christian nationalist's behaviors during the pandemic.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Limitations notwithstanding, the implications of this study are important for understanding Americans' curious inability to quickly implement informed and reasonable strategies to overcome the threat of COVID‐19, an inability that has likely cost thousands of lives," they write.</p>
Parental anxieties stem from the complex relationship between technology, child development, and the internet's trove of unseemly content.