In order for companies to remain competitive, they have to learn to value a diverse workforce. Cultural diversity consists of a group of diverse individuals due to race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Sensitivity or diversity training can be instituted within a company to insure that individuals' differences are appreciated and understood. Many trends have developed, which have created an even larger need for a diverse workforce, such as an increase in an aging worker pool, more females and minorities entering the workforce and companies providing disabled workers with jobs.
Where working in homogeneous teams can seem easier, it can cause a business to settle for the status quo. Diversity, on the other hand, can breed healthy competition, stretching a team in a positive way to achieve their best. This atmosphere of healthy competition can lead to the optimization of company processes for greater efficiency. As a recent article in the Harvard Business Review argues, the challenges of working in a diverse team are one of the reasons why diverse teams perform better: “working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder.”
Brown University Training Materials : Cultural Competence and Community Studies: Concepts and Practices for Cultural Competence The Northeast Education Partnership provides online access to PowerPoint training slides on topics in research ethics and cultural competence in environmental research. These have been created for professionals/students in environmental sciences, health, and policy; and community-based research. If you are interested in receiving an electronic copy of one the presentations, just download their Materials Request Form (found on the main Training Presentations page under "related files"), complete the form, and email it to NEEPethics@ .