We are all different. When discussing diversity, we often think about gender or race. However there are many other ways we differ from each other, most of the times less visibly. Have you thought about psychological diversity, the way in which our brains are wired differently? Or diversity in socio-economic background? Some of us might be expected to become academics all their life, while others are first-generation academics.
Along the same line, inclusion is not only about having a certain percentage of minorities on board, inclusion describes an atmosphere in which people feel welcomed and appreciated. Inclusion is not ignoring our differences and tolerating people who are different than you, it means paying respect and interest to each others differences. Whether someone is Hindu, bisexual, autist or all of the aformentioned, we all want people to respect who we are. It is often comforting and refreshing when others take genuine interest in you as a person.
For some of you, the above might sound rather lofty, so I’d like to end with a few personal tips:
Drink a cup of coffee/tea with the colleague you least identify with
Start the day with ‘Good morning, what is on your mind?’ instead of ‘Good morning, how is research going?’
Don’t be too shy about who you are as a person. Share something your colleagues don’t know about you yet.