Increasing the visibility and understanding of diversity is critical to ONE’s mission and it is important to both internal and external stakeholders. Diversity within ONE is viewed in an inclusive manner. To underscore the inclusive nature of diversity, we define diversity as the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, experiences, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs and this variety is an asset to ONE.
ONE’s leadership is committed to diversity and to bringing together resources, energy, people and agencies to help fight treatable, preventable disease and eradicate extreme poverty. Collectively, we recognize this work is happening within a diverse world and will be made stronger and more effective through diverse approaches. The innovation that comes from a diversity of thought and perspective is essential to achieving the mission of ONE.
To be successful, ONE understands that diversity is not a problem to be solved, but is an asset to be developed. The organization must build a culture that successfully motivates and generates the highest productivity of all employees, across lines including race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, age, political affiliation, and disability. It must provide an environment in which differences are not merely tolerated, but valued as promoting creativity, innovation and maximization of individual potential. The organization is committed to seeing these objectives realized.
These objectives are consistent with ONE’s emerging culture. Diversity is one of our stated core values. The organization is founded on the value of respect for everyone as individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds. Embracing diversity reinforces this value. Diversity is not intended as a euphemism for affirmative action. It is not a justification for double standards or for lowering of quality. Rather, diversity means recognizing that differences do matter-that they do impact the way in which we perceive, communicate and relate to one another.
In considering the importance and value of diversity for ONE, we acknowledge the importance of diversity to all of ONE’s stakeholders including the staff which is diverse across many dimensions of difference and our interns and volunteers. Diversity is also an imperative in the eyes of our board, staff, and funders, as well as our partners, consultants, and vendors. Diversity is especially important among NGOs and in the community of organizations in which we work.
A successful diversity initiative has direct benefits for the organization internally. It can impact our ability to recruit the best candidates and retain valued employees. In addition, it can increase the morale, productivity and commitment of our employees. The strength of our human resources is impacted by our diversity efforts and is critical to ONE’s success.
To be competitive for the best available talent the organization must provide, and be recognized as providing, an environment with genuine opportunity for advancement and success for all employees. An organization with a reputation as an employer where all employees are recognized for the skills they bring to the organization, and which implements the policies and practices that support the diverse needs of its employees, becomes a magnet for the most qualified individuals. This enables us to broaden the pool of applicants to choose from including the top talent from across all diverse groups.
As a workplace that supports diversity we will utilize talented employees to their maximum ability. Employees who are able to fully utilize their skills and talents, and who have the opportunity to succeed, are likely to stay with the organization and grow with it. Our best means to cultivate diversity lies in maximizing the potential of the talent that we already have. Productivity also requires optimal utilization of talent. Feeling undervalued or marginalized prevents an individual from full commitment to specific work products and to the organization as a whole. Employees who feel engaged and empowered produce quality work, innovative thinking, work effectively within a team, and have good morale.
A diverse workforce is in ONE’s long-term interests. It is an important value to uphold and to demonstrate to all of our stakeholders, both internally and externally. Valuing and conducting ourselves in a manner that reflects our commitment to diversity will enable us to compete in the broadest market to obtain the human capital that is the fundamental asset the organization has to offer, and it will help ensure our employees feel valued for who they are and are able to produce the highest quality work possible.
Words and exhortations alone will not accomplish these results. Through dedication of energy, effort and consciousness to these issues – and through a deep and abiding respect for one another – we can become the diverse and vibrant organization we aspire to be.