[LTR] The world is a colorfully diverse place full of unique individuals shaped by culture and life experiences. This colorful mosaic can be a source of great strength for businesses and individuals who choose to embrace it. Diversity is one of the most important business assets available today. Organizations who choose respect over stereotyping and biases will find themselves in a strong position both ethically and economically.

Virtually every business has a dynamic and diverse customer base. It stands to reason that every business should also employ a diverse group of employees. There is no better way to understand and service a diverse group of customers, than to employee a diverse group of employees. Because we are all limited as individuals by our own limited life experience, we need diverse co-workers to understand the needs and wants of all of our customers. This type of diversity gives companies an invaluable asset.

Diversity also strengthens innovation and creativity. The more minds that are put to work in creating, the more creative we will be. The world is changing at such a rapid pace that quick innovation is imperative. If we don't want our businesses to become the next dinosaurs we need to create new ideas every day. What better way to do this than to have the meeting of as many diverse minds as possible.

Diversity keeps companies safe legally. Biases and stereotypes lead to harassment and discrimination. It is illegal in both employment hiring and in the operation of the workplace to discriminate against people of different cultures, religions, ages, disabilities and the many other classes of people who have been designated protected groups.

Lastly, respecting differences and avoiding stereotypes is the ethical thing to do. Follow the golden rule and treat others as you wish to be treated. Respecting the skills, abilities and differences of our co-workers not only makes business and legal sense, but makes moral sense as well.

Organizations who choose respect will find themselves in a strong ethical, legal and economic position. The world is a diverse, colorful mosaic and companies should utilize this diversity to strengthen their position in the marketplace.

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