Did you know that November is National Career Development Month in the US? As this year’s theme is “My Career Dreams,” the National Career Development Association (NCDA) held a poetry and poster contest open to students (i.e., Kindergarten through College/University). In reviewing the winning entries, the diversity of the individuals became clear; each person coming from a unique background, experiencing the world in a unique way, and expressing their career dreams just as uniquely. For example, Sarah Elder's entry showcases both Eastern and Western influences and a unique mode of expression (i.e., art).
This contest celebrated diversity and encouraged students to creatively explore their career paths. This prompted me to think about my diversity dream. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for diversity to be truly celebrated in the workplace, not just through contests aimed at students? What if diversity and multiculturalism was more than just “policy,” but actually a corporate value in action? What if employers truly recognized and supported the benefits that diversity can bring to the workplace (e.g., creative thinking and problem solving).
Although many organizations do take a strong pro-diversity stance and walk their diversity talk (see http://www.canadastop100.com/diversity/), many still struggle to successfully integrate diverse workers. My diversity dream, is for those same students who submitted entries into the NCDA contest, to be able to continue to express themselves and be permitted to bring their whole selves to work when they enter the workforce one day.