Diversity and the Danger of a Single Story

In People Development

“No people are uninteresting.  Their fate is like the chronicle of planets”. — Yevgeny Yevtushenko, People

“Seven billion stories and counting…” is the tagline for Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a multi-cultural communications service.  It reminds us that the world is populated by more than seven billion people, and that each has a unique story to tell.

Chimamanda Adichie is a storyteller.  In her inspiring TED talk, she brings us this view of diversity:

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes  is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one  story become the only story.”

“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. If we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”

The challenge and possibility for organisations is to include opportunities for the spectrum of stories that comprise its workforce to benefit the business.