by Chris Allan
Principal Consultant – Diversity and Inclusion Workshops at Inclusive Recruiting
Perceived to be beautiful, with its pink feathers, the flamingo stands tall above the water, waiting for its next catch. Elegant as it takes flight. No one really knows why they stand on one leg. One study believes it is to conserve body heat while standing in cool waters.
You might be thinking why on earth is Chris writing about flamingos? What does that have to do with Diversity and Inclusion?
Let’s take a moment to think..
The image above is exactly what you think of when a flamingo comes to mind. Bright, vibrant and standing tall. These are all true but what if I were to tell you that image you have in your mind – the tall, standing above the water flamingo – was standing on its tip toes? Mind blowing right? Does it make you feel any different toward the flamingo? Does it make you feel different knowing that it only appears tall and stands on its tip toes to protect itself from predators?
I suppose what I am getting at is everyone is a flamingo. Standing on their tip toes, making themselves appear to be more than perhaps what is really going on, on the inside. The Non-visible side of diversity sprang to mind when I first saw the images of the flamingo standing tall and standing small.
Not everything to do with diversity is something you can see.
Just know, it is OK to give your tip toes a rest.
Learning about all types of diversity, including the ones you can’t see helps us understand different perspectives within the world in which we live. It helps dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. In addition, cultural diversity helps us recognise and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own.
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