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Inclusive Thinking

October 14, 2010
Sometimes the thrill of being an entrepreneur is not knowing what a new client can bring into your company or life.  Besides receiving compensation from them, entrepreneurs might obtain the benefits of positive personal relationships, introductions to people in their circles, referrals, and business advice. There are also times when we are educated about their industry or their philosophies that impact our thinking.  

Last December I was approached by two African American men to assist them in their first annual Central New York Inclusion Conference.  The conference was geared to educate leaders of businesses, organizations and communities about the importance of creating a culture within their organization that embraced diversity and inclusion.  As a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs, my spirit blended with theirs as we spoke the same language of trying to ensure more equality in the world and workforce.  The business world continues to change; the once all white male dominated environments are being infiltrated with professionals of all ethnic backgrounds, age, sexual orientations, and physical disabilities. Standard business culture is changing and the mindset of companies looking to grow must change as well.
 
What I have learned from being involved with this event and inclusion conversation is  when companies embrace and welcome diversity in their organizations it has a positive economic bottom line impact. By opening up the work place to a variety of individuals, the environment becomes richer not poorer. For example if a company decides not to hire a 21 year old, young Asian woman to work in their firm, because they don’t think the youth and culture of the woman would blend into their corporate environment, they might be losing a talented, hard working professional, who might require a lower salary range and increase their company’s productivity, purely based on their personal biases. Growing a company and developing as a smart business woman means embracing difference and being inclusive in thought.

Today’s post is to encourage you to think about what you are doing to create a more diverse and inclusive work force, client base or professional network. Are you limiting the people you meet, the benefits of their relationship, and business potential by being exclusive. How could your company benefit from the fresh perspective of another culture, age or educational background? Only by engaging our minds in new ways of thoughts can we improve the quality of our corporate climate, businesses and world.  

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