As I See It: Is diversity important?

Every culture, every nationality, every single person sees the world in a different way. Similarly, every culture, nationality, and person have different knowledge, perspectives, and points of view. When all of these different views are shared together, miracles can happen because diversity drives creativity and innovation.  (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Yes, National Asian American United (NAAU) President Joel Wong believes that diversity is really very important for us to consider and put into practice by building bridges through understanding the Asian Culture and Heritage.

So, his group planned for a Civic Leadership Forum Silicon featuring a 40-minute dialog between Asian American communities over Ding Ding TV with President Wong as moderator. The panelists are people of diverse backgrounds and diversified experiences giving our country the unique advantage.

The panelists are: Kathy Watanabe, Council Member, City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California; Chris Norwood, President, Milpitas Unified School District Board; Francis Espiritu, President-Publisher, Philippine News Today and past president of the San Mateo County Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce; Rosa Kim Trustee, Fremont Union High School District; Naomi Nakano – Matsumoto, Executive Administrator at Office of Supervisor Otto Lee, Santa Clara County District 3; and Queenie Ngu.

The forum will be held on Friday, January 27, 2023 from 4:30 pm over Ding Ding TV Silicon Valley Studio located in Santa Clara, California. Dr. Xiaoyan Zhang will deliver the keynote speech on “How social media divides us and how AAPI leaders leverage their cultural strengths to work together.”

There will be multi-cultural artists performances such as Chinese music, Vietnamese dance and fashion show, Filipino singing, and Korean dance.

As I See It, diversity is of paramount importance for many reasons. First, we can learn various cultures that will propel us to greatness. It teaches us to be innovative and creative. Second, diversity gives us the chance to understand each other thereby promoting better communication and understanding leading to good relationship. It will make us complete and more diverse in our daily life. Third, it will also give us an idea of how to approach problems that are unique to people by networking with them for a common goal. Since we understand the culture and their heritage, we would know how to make things relevant and encompassing. That’s how important diversity is!

In fact, every person is unique and the more someone is different than you, it is more likely their skills and knowledge will be different from you. But, cultural diversity reduces discriminations and racism because when we learn their culture and heritage, everyone respects each other regardless of culture.

The idea of a diverse and inclusive team not only gives the companies additional experience and point of views, but it also helps and improves the openness and tolerance of different cultural habits in the same work environment. The diverse team with great talents and with open world view has the great advantage of executing the company’s strategy and can serve the customers better. In fact, a diverse workforce improves customer experiences. You can’t focus on your customers if you don’t understand how they think and act. Having a diversity of thinking allows your team to understand and design better customer experience, which leads to better customer satisfaction.

Research published by the Harvard Business Review reported that “…people like to fit in, so they are cautious about sticking their necks out. When we have a strong, homogenous culture, we stifle the natural cognitive diversity in groups through the pressure to conform.”

Therefore, diversity in the workplace can lead to creativity in resolving problems as well as creating new products and services.

According to Toni O’Boyle (, there are five reasons why diversity is important in the 21st century.

First, promoting diversity is the first step to not just “tolerance” but true inclusion and acceptance (growing acceptance, diminishing discrimination). Through growing contact with, exposure to, and communication between people who are not like us, we can learn how to relate to difference in a way where difference doesn’t have to be a problem, a barrier, or a threat. Increasing familiarity with these differences (and commonalities) can shape and shift our perspectives, cultivate an acceptance that facilitates belonging, and diminish the misconceptions and prejudices that fuel discrimination. This is diversity in action!

Second, if you experience diversity in your everyday life, you will have regular exposure to people, cultures, traditions, and practices that are unlike your own (becoming a global citizen). You will learn the skills to communicate and interact with communities, concepts, and belief systems that you are unfamiliar with and therefore gain a more worldly, balanced, and informed perspective. Not only will you enhance your own social development, but you will also increase your true understanding of the world. This will prepare you to be a part of a global society, whether you are traveling to a new country, working with people from diverse backgrounds, or just reading about events in the news that heavily impacts a population different than your own.

Third, hearing about another’s experience can shed light on a life different than your own and provide you a new perspective. When you contrast your struggles, needs, and values with someone else’s, you can really begin to comprehend where an individual is coming from and empathetically understand their attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs at a deeper level (through which you can more deeply understand your own). Perhaps talking to someone new will change your mind or challenge your values which on a subconscious level can seem scary for our brains, or the payoff for flexible thinking is a life where we get to see through many different lenses and experience the kaleidoscope that diversity of perspective has to offer. You can learn a lot from them through interaction!

Fourth, diversity is a natural state of being for the human race which gives us richer life experience. In fact, it’s what our survival depends on. What if everyone who surrounded you was exactly like you, in every way? How easily could a disease wipe you all out? And where is the fun in relating to people who are exactly like you? We need new ideas, views, and practices to stimulate and inspire us, to show us the way others eat, celebrate, and love! And so, it’s important to recognize that diversity is absolutely fundamental to our surviving but it’s also absolutely key to our thriving.

And fifth, bringing together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware of (productivity). Everyone has their own way of viewing a problem, shaped by the individual experiences that they have and the worldview they carry with them. When tackling an issue, a multitude of interpretations and approaches can generate creativity and innovation, instead of everyone contributing the same thoughts and conclusions. In this way, it’s important to recognize the utility of diversity, it is after all what supports nature’s productivity and we can learn a lot from the natural world.

So, to sum up, the author said, “together our differences make a strong, beautiful, global community. Even in the face of intolerance, discrimination, and violence, we must not forget to spread the word about the importance of diversity and to respond to that violence with a radical love that unconditionally cherishes people for exactly who they are.”

Henceforth we could say that diversity is vital to our survival!

(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments, email the author at