When I was growing up, I never understood the true meaning of diversity. The lessons I learned in school were always very vague and short because the town has a majority white population. Since moving to Knoxville I have been trying to educate myself better on the true meaning of diversity. The focus of the topic had always been to accept people of all ethnicities; but what about all the others who are diverse in a way other than that? No one seemed willing to open and talk about other ways because they were all deemed as a bad thing.
Diversity has changed tremendously over the past years; but what also needs to change is inclusion. How can we not only show people that we want to have them in the group and make sure they do not feel uncomfortable? I never had to think about things like this in my workplaces; but now I see how small tasks would have unnecessary challenges. Thinking back to a job I had in Pigeon Forge, it was very common for me to sell tickets to the show from the booth nearest the handicap ramp. There was usually 2-5 guests each show that would require to use the ramp and most would have a difficult time because it was too steep. I always felt as if we should be doing something to try to help/improve the situation because it was unfair. Although I had brought up the issue to a manager, they told me that it was just something people had to work with and there was nothing that they could do. This was a response I could’ve expected at that time, but now since gaining a deeper understanding I can say I would have wanted to look into the problem more.
The steps we can take to help could be start by educating the workforce better in the sense of all types of diversity and inclusion. Setting the culture there first would then help improve the customer experience too. Everyday you can create an opportunity for employees to be empowered in their workplace and want to spend time figuring out how the business could best include everyone.
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