"Cultural competence refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each."
--Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. National Association of Social Workers. 2007 p. 12-13.
Cultural competency is "the capacity to function effectively in cultural settings other than one's own. This will usually involve a recognition of the diversity both between and within cultures, a capacity for cultural self-assessment, and a willingness to adapt personal behaviors and practices."
--APA Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association. REF BF31 .A63 2007 p. 249.
Cultural competency goes beyond diversity, enabling us to communicate our appreciation and respect for our differences in order to teach, assist, care for, and work with one another.
Adapted, with permission, from the Diversity Information Plus Guide by Teresa Ashley, Faculty Librarian, Austin Community College, Austin, TX.
"A diverse workforce is integral to a strong economy. ... Our nation and our workforce are both becoming more diverse. The share of people of color in the United States is increasing; more women are entering the labor force; and gay and transgender individuals are making vital contributions to our economy, while being increasingly open about who they are. To that end, businesses that embrace diversityi have a more solid footing in the marketplace than others. ....
A diverse workforce combines workers from different backgrounds and experiences that together breed a more creative, innovative, and productive workforce. And businesses have learned that they can draw upon our nation’s diversity to strengthen their bottom line. In this way, diversity is a key ingredient to growing a strong and inclusive economy that’s built to last.
Let's look at the top 10 economic benefits of workplace diversity:
Read the complete article by Sophia Kerby and Crosby Burns at the Center for American Progress website.