Understanding Hispanic Diversity…Look In the Mirror
Diversity isn’t always what we do. It’s also how we think.
When we think about diversity, It’s common to consider workplace strategies and the make up of the workforce. Sometimes, however, we need to slow down and look in the mirror. Before strategies and diverse teams can be truly effective we need a strong foundation. In this case, understanding Hispanic diversity is the critical element.
Reading the cards wrong…
In a general sense it’s safe to say many Americans consider any native Spanish speaker to be Hispanic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because in fact, Spanish is the fourth most common language in the world, spoken by over 500 million people.
This misplaced notion of linking all Spanish speakers together through their native language can be a very slippery slope. Because by doing so it’s easy to assume that those same Spanish speakers are culturally similar. When in fact, just due to the sheer numbers, we find that native speakers of Spanish come from multiple countries and cultures. A strong illustration of this would be to look at Asia. Chinese is the second most common language in the world and even with in China there are several different cultures.
Getting the ducks in a row…
Taking a hard look at how we perceive cultural differences ourselves is a necessary precursor to creating and implementing sound approaches to diversity inclusion in the workplace.
Ecumen, a Minnesota based assisted living, skilled care and hospice provider invited Victoria Amaris, a Colombian born anthropologist and cultural diversity consultant, to prove present a learning session on diversity and inclusion. As part of the presentation, Ms. Amaris presented the group with a map of Mexico prior to the early 1800s, including what is now the southwestern United States. Using them up to illustrate her point Ms. Aramis remarked “who is the immigrant becomes the question.“
To help yourself in understanding hispanic diversity, you can view a video of her informative presentation here.
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