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Diversity makes teams better

25 Jul

The Software Education trainer team used to be a pretty homogeneous bunch – mainly balding, middle-aged white males (most of us with beards).   This wasn’t the result of any policy or plan, it was just the way things worked out over time.

In the  last few years we’ve been fortunate to take on a number of people who broke the pattern, today we’re a much more diverse group – a mix of age groups, men and women from a variety of cultural backgrounds with vastly different experience.

This diversity has made us a more interesting team, has made our course material more valuable and improved the advice we can offer in consulting engagements.

We don’t always agree – in fact we often have robust discussions on many topics.  We respect each other’s opinions and perspectives and actively work to appreciate and understand each other’s point of view, even when we agree to disagree.

Researching an InfoQ article on diversity I found a great quote from Desmond Tutu about “Ubuntu”:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu “God Has A Dream” 2004 Published by Doubleday

I’d say Software Education is an organisation that exhibits Ubuntu in our team.

For more on the value of diversity in teams see http://www.infoq.com/news/2010/07/value-of-diversity

Posted by Shane Hastie

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Posted by on July 25, 2010 in Culture

 

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