Issues and discussions surrounding diversity and its impact on professional environments have taken the world by storm over the past few years. Decisions, plans, discussions, theories, and seminars happen everywhere to create a more inclusive and diverse workspaces for the people.
Despite continual effort, the change will never stick if we do not keep teaching the next generation how to build impactful, diverse, and inclusive environments. As a high schooler, I wanted to understand a little more of what the high school idea of diversity and inclusion was and how my peers believed it impacted them.
Personally, I view having the opportunity to be a part of a company working towards a completely inclusive world as an incredible learning experience. I have been fortunate enough to learn that diversity does not just extend to color and race, but also disability, education, and so many other factors. Factors people may not consider when thinking about inclusion. Fortunately, we are moving towards a global community in which diversity is no longer a checkbox for a certain percentage of an ethnicity but an opportunity to “[give an organization] access to a greater range of talent, not just the talent that belongs to a particular world-view or ethnicity or some other restricting definition” (Shemla 2018).
I wanted to get the opinion of your typical high schooler and how diversity played a role in their lives. Overall, the response was that while they believed diversity is important, it did not impact them directly. However, high school is an incredible educational opportunity that is tied to college for many students and it is there that the issues of race and ethnicity become a larger problem with a significant impact on the applicants. Many students believed the ethnicity or race they belonged to increased or decreased their chances of being accepted. When asked for an opinion on what a solution to the problem may be, many students talked about the concept of a “blind admission system”.
The idea was to create a system where the race of an applicant is neither asked for nor considered. The high school I attend has a majority of Caucasian students, and there have been recent events in which specific non-Caucasian ethnicities have been the target of harassment. These horrible moments spread so much unrest and fear throughout the minorities in our school, but they also shut down opportunities to connect with one another for a brighter future. After all, that is what children do, dream.
A community or organization that incorporates various ethnicities and people of different backgrounds gains a tool to look at problems in a different light. People from different parts of the world or different experiences in life will approach a problem uniquely and that may be the best way to reach a solution. Diversity should not be a requirement of anything we do, but it should be the very way we do it.
While I understand the history of racism, bias, and discrimination has piled weight onto the journey activists are taking, that journey will pave the way for the world to come together to revolutionize the way we live. Allowing for different perspectives to come together will create opportunities for innovative ideas to come to light and help change the lives of so many. I hope that as time passes, diversity no longer is something we need to think about and discuss, but something that becomes a living, breathing part of our everyday interactions and events.
As we grow older and take the reins of our lives into our own hands more and more, the impact of the generations before us become stronger and stronger.
ProvenBase is creating a more inclusive environment for the lives of those on the job hunt journey and those to come years later. I believe that Dr. King put it best when he pushed us towards “a dream where [people] will be judged by the content of their character”. That character is what will bring our hands together to build the foundations of a bolder future for ages to come.
Author: Mahathi Reddy
I am a high schooler who wants to help create a positive impact in the world of diversity. I want to see people of all ethnicities and backgrounds come together to share experiences and dreams so we can create a brighter and more inclusive environment for generations to come.