Alisha Rachel Kurian and Jemy Anna Jacob, both students at Christ University in Bangalore, India, reflect about the course on diversity management of health professions which was part of the 2018 winter school in Switzerland.
« Diversity: the art of thinking independently together. » Malcom Forbes
In the 21st century, multiculturalism and diversity are becoming common at the workplace due to globalisation. Populations in many countries have grown culturally diverse. Hence having «cultural intelligence» is extremely important to cater the diverse needs of this diverse pool of people.
Our Winter School experience was an eye opening and an amazing learning opportunity to help us grow as global citizens. During the diversity management course a basic understanding on culture and critical incidents that health and social care professionals face in their daily work were discussed. Through this wonderful opportunity to collaborate with peers across the globe, a good insight on managing diversity during complex situations at workplace was obtained.
The teaching style and the content was extremely interesting and unique to that we have experienced in our home country. It made us think out of the box to discuss various scenarios which are critical incidents we face in our professional life. The stimulating activity was a great way of giving a punch of the differences that can come about culturally even in the absence of any languages.
The cues through sounds, certain actions, food, body language etc. were complex to comprehend but that itself delivered the idea that culture is complex. Classes on various cultures across the world was a great way to identify how each one in the classroom was different from one another.
Understanding the approaches taken by various individuals due to their cultural diversity is a great way to respect and communicate well with one another especially in a foreign country. We made filmlets about diversity issues that can arise at our workplace and came up with practical solutions for the same.
The issue highlighted in one of our filmlets was the discrimination against refugees, the pre judgements we may have about them and the language barriers we face while treating them. All the solutions discussed in the flimlets were extremely interesting and informative.
As social workers it is extremely important to understand and accept diversity as we would be encountering diverse people across our careers. The various inputs we got through this opportunity are very valuable as it can lead to creative interventions that we can implement during our professional practice.