Don’t just accept diversity, celebrate it
Diversity isn’t just a buzzword, it’s an essential component of modern workplaces. Diverse workforces provide a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and skills which leads to increased innovation and creativity. Today, having a diverse team isn’t enough, it’s equally important to celebrate diversity and create an inclusive work environment.
Celebrating diversity at work fosters a sense of belonging among employees. When individuals feel valued and respected for who they are, they are more likely to feel encouraged to show up as their authentic selves. This authenticity in the workplace can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity.
Employees who are encouraged to express their viewpoints and utilize their unique backgrounds, and experiences, offer fresh perspectives and enhance business offerings. Increasing diversity of thought can lead to better decision-making and more innovative solutions.
Celebrating diversity can take many forms, such as recognizing cultural holidays, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, or simply acknowledging and appreciating differences among team members. Celebrating diversity at work sends a powerful message that discrimination and prejudice have no place in the workplace and that all individuals are valued for their unique contributions.
How does Stryker encourage celebrating diversity in the workplace?
At Stryker, we embrace our differences – it's one of the reasons we’re a great place to work! We’re always looking for ways to highlight our team and ensure all our employees feel comfortable being themselves with us.
One way we work toward this goal is by offering nine employee resource groups dedicated to building an inclusive, engaging work environment. Our focus is to encourage, value, and leverage differences in people and perspectives to achieve maximum business performance. We see diversity and inclusion as a business imperative aligned with our mission and values.
Working at a global company, we naturally represent many different backgrounds and cultures. But even we didn’t realize our reach - at our Anngrove, Ireland location alone, over 25 nationalities are represented. Seeing an opportunity to celebrate her colleagues, Mo O., a Staff Engineer based in Anngrove, approached her Plant Operations Director with a plan to increase awareness about the teams’ diversity and ways to celebrate all cultures. Her idea? Hosting a week-long multicultural event. Each day would be dedicated to learning more about one another and their backgrounds.
With the full (and enthusiastic) support of the Plant Operations Director, Mo worked with a team of coworkers representing eight different nationalities to organize Stryker’s first Multicultural Week in November 2022. During this week, if you walked through the Anngrove facility, flags of all nationalities were represented around the site. The canteen cooked meals inspired by everyone’s cultures and education cards were placed on the tables, allowing people to learn at their own pace. It was concluded with a cultural quiz hosted online.
During the week, nine employees volunteered to participate in a cultural exhibition showcasing their heritage. Participants shared artifacts, food, traditional attire, and talked with their peers about their backgrounds and culture. One participant said, "I was blown away by the effort and engagement of all who took part."
Having experienced international moves, and living in a new country herself, Mo strongly felt that creating cultural awareness and celebrating various nationalities would allow employees to feel more connected and bring about a sense of belonging. “The event was not just a celebration of different cultures but a reminder that despite our differences, we can come together in unity and appreciate the richness that diversity brings to Stryker.”
Through this initiative, employees were given the opportunity to see how diverse their teams were, developed more of an understanding of others' lived experiences, and ultimately made each other feel safe and celebrated being their whole self at work.
We continue to strive to find new ways to celebrate our team’s uniqueness. Honoring one another’s backgrounds and life experiences is essential for creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture.
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