True diversity in the workplace does not happen without the vision and clear directions of the individuals in the hierarchy. Because leadership  provides the visibility and commit the time and resources to make diversity  happen –  it’s a top priority and personal responsibility.

Effective leaders are mindful of what it  requires making diversity happen. They embrace communication and realize their own limitations. They promote training, mentorships, recruit,  and oversee the promotion of diversity initiatives.

They usually have the finger on the pulse of the workforce, client base and suppliers. Strong leaders are too mindful of the potential obstacles to achieving diversity.

For example, over 250,000 new immigrants from around the world are allowed to settle in Canada. And in the coming years one out of three positions will have to be filled with new immigrants to due shortage of skilled workers.

In the past, the North American workplace was quite homogeneous. Workers for the most part knew the unwritten rules about what was expected and how things were done. Today’s workforce, however, includes employees from various backgrounds, bringing with them different workplace perspectives, preferences, and expectations. The rules can no longer remain unwritten.

But managers must set the example for the employees. They will need to create an inclusive environment in which all employees understand, value and respect each other’s differences.

The managers may find articulating the rules to be challenging, but the benefits will be considerable: increasing in productivity and profits!