Today is World Day for Diversity

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Today is World Day for Diversity

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Monday, May 21, 2012 - 9:00pm


From: Anthony Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Those who know me know that I am passionate about the subject of diversity and inclusion. First and foremost — it’s one of the best things to do — for the people who depend on our products, for our employees and for the long-term success of Johnson & Johnson. As Chief Diversity Officer, more importantly as a person, diversity and inclusion is important to me because I work with colleagues who represent a variety of differences – from culture, to background, religion and sexual orientation, and work experience. Every day, I learn the importance of how authenticity and the ability to bring our true selves to Johnson & Johnson creates a stronger culture of inclusion.

World Day for Diversity raises awareness of the richness of world cultures and the opportunities that cultural diversity can bring to societies. In 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity [bold text will link to website] for Dialogue and Development following the adoption in 2001 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

I am proud to say Johnson & Johnson has joined the UN’s ‘Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion’ campaign along with 40 organizations from around the world, aimed at engaging people to Do One Thing to support cultural diversity and inclusion. Click here  for a listing of all the events taking place around the world to celebrate the Do One Thing campaign.

The world is changing. Allow me to share some compelling statistics:

  • The minority population in the U.S. is likely to surpass the non-Minority (non-Hispanic White) population by 2042 or sooner. Minority groups are now referred to as the ‘emerging majority’.
  • By 2050, the world population of those over the age of 60 is projected to triple, reaching 2 billion people.
  • The average proportion of women in the lower or single houses of parliament more than doubled in 14 years in Central Asia, South-East Asia and South Asia.
  • Education is an emerging megatrend. The advancement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is important to the American education system, helping to provide the workforce with the education, training and skill development essential for success in the new 21st century workplace.

We’ve heard the expression that ‘the world is flat’. Today, more people connect, collaborate and work together from different parts of the world than ever before. On World Diversity Day, I encourage you to join the worldwide Do One Thing campaign. Below are some simple things YOU can do today to participate:

  • Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  • Invite a family or people in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
  • Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
  • Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
  • Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Rumi).
  • Next weekend, visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
  • Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming Festival in China.
  • Spread your own culture around the world through the Facebook page and learn about other cultures.
  • Explore music of a different culture.

I encourage you to visit the Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion Facebook page, like it and share your One Thing, If you’re on Twitter, the campaign’s Twitter hash tag is: #DoOneThing.

To learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson, please click here. I’d love to hear what you’re doing, so please leave me a comment and let me know what the One Thing you do today will be.

Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Culture | Do One Thing for Diversity | UN | UNESCO | World Day for Diversity | authenticity | cultural diversity | diversity | diversity and inclusion | inclusion