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The importance of cultural diversity in the development of products and technological solutions

In the field of Human Resources, for years we have been clear that cultural diversity enriches the work environment, but it turns out that it also drives innovation, improves decision making and increases customer satisfaction. Especially in a sector as intense in innovation as the development of products and technological solutions.

Because, when the staff is made up of people who have a wide range of perspectives on life, who accumulate different experiences and have skills that complement each other, it is easier to find creative solutions to problems. As a result, what the company achieves is to offer unique products that could hardly have been designed within a more homogeneous work group.

On the other hand, cultural diversity also improves the quality of the decision-making process. Because the different experiences of the team members allow us to evaluate options and keep in mind a wider range of possible consequences. If we have more internal debate, in the end we come to more informed and effective decisions.

Not that we say so. There are several studies that have shown that companies with high levels of diversity have a higher financial performance and a greater ability to adapt to changes that occur in the market. Because diversity fosters a more comprehensive and detailed approach to problem analysis and allows you to take better advantage of opportunities.

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Challenges of cultural diversity in technological development

If we take a look at what is happening in Silicon Valleycradle of technological development worldwide, we realize that the work teams there are made up of experts from different parts of the globe.

In the specific case of Indian citizens, they make up 6% of the Silicon Valley workforce, and have a large presence in senior management. For experts, the reason for this is that Indian-trained professionals have strong problem-solving skills, a humble personality, and practice leadership that is considered tactful and non-abrasive. They trust their work teams and let them work with a high level of autonomy, and this is precisely what is causing companies that have embraced diversity and opted for the integration of very different talents to be making important progress. in the field of technology.

However, achieving success is not a bed of roses. Addressing cultural diversity in the field of technological development involves a series of challenges that companies have to face.

Communication and coordination

One of the great challenges in multicultural teams is overcoming barriers to communication. It is not just about getting everyone to speak the same language, as this can be more or less easy. But that there is a true understanding of different communication styles and culture, because any misunderstanding can lead to conflict.

This also includes non-verbal language. Because there are gestures, expressions or looks that are correct in one culture and not in others.

Team integration and cohesion

Integrating people with diverse origins is a great challenge, because cultural barriers are not always easy to overcome. And if this cohesion is not achieved, it will be difficult for the work environment to be pleasant for everyone.

To achieve this, companies are opting for a organizational culture that values and respects diversity, fostering collaboration and mutual understanding. It is the entity itself that does its part so that the members of its staff stop being mere colleagues and become a true team.

Unconscious biases

Unconscious biases can affect team dynamics and decision making. Which can lead to exclusion of certain voices and perspectives

Since it is not something that is done consciously, it can be difficult to detect for whoever is applying the bias.

Again, it is the company's responsibility to take action. For example, training your employees on what the unconscious biases, so that they know how to recognize them when they operate on them and can take measures to not apply them.

How has cultural diversity impacted technological development?

Let's look at some examples that show us that good management of cultural diversity can be one of the keys when it comes to companies advancing in the field of technological products.

Google

It is clear that we have to start with Google, because it takes decades making cultural diversity one of its competitive advantages. In fact, the American company always prioritizes diversity in its development teams, in which it integrates people with different cultural and ethnic origins.

This diverse workforce allows you better understand the preferences and needs of users from different regions, and thus has it a little easier to offer products and services adapted to different cultural contexts.

Diversity goes beyond the origin of people. In the case of Google, having people with disabilities on staff has allowed it to create products that are more accessible to everyone.

IBM

IBM has been a pioneer in implementing diversity and inclusion policies. Years ago, he recognized that a diverse work environment is one of the keys to continuing to advance in innovation.

This company has diversity mentoring and training programs who have improved the internal cohesion of their work teams. Resulting in an increase in the levels of creativity and innovative potential of their development teams.

Furthermore, in recent years, it has implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems that are influenced by the cultural diversity of their creators. Giving rise to fairer algorithms and less prone to the application of bias.

Microsoft

Microsoft's global commitment can be seen in all its products. It has teams dedicated exclusively to diversity and inclusion, who are responsible for working to make all the products and services that come out of this software developer accessible and useful for people from different cultures.

On the other hand, multicultural teams have allowed a perfect adaptation of products such as the Windows operating system and the Office package to different alphabets, languages and cultural conventions. This goes a long way to explaining why Microsoft products are so popular globally.

Airbnb

The apartment search platform not only makes it easier for tourists to access accommodation in their next destination. For differentiate yourself from the competition, gives users the opportunity to find accommodation and experiences that reflect local culture of the place they are going to visit. Something that has been possible due to the presence of employees from diverse cultures in its workforce.

This diversity has also allowed the development marketing and operations strategies that adapt perfectly to each market. In this way, Airbnb has achieved a great global presence in a very short time, it has become the main vacation accommodation search company.

How to make the most of cultural diversity in the technology sector?

Although we have seen examples of large companies, the truth is that small companies can also benefit from the application of cultural diversity in the field of technological innovation if they know how to manage it well. In fact, by having a smaller workforce, diversity management should be somewhat easier in your case.

The starting point is foster an inclusive culture, in which all employees feel valued and respected. To do this, it is necessary to eliminate biases and promote measures that guarantee effective equality of opportunities and fight against discrimination.

To make inclusive culture a reality, you have to work with employees. Offering them training that helps them understand cultural differences and look for common points that serve as foundations to shape multicultural teams. This involves addressing topics such as intercultural communication, managing unconscious biases and conflict resolution.

As always when it comes to working on the company culture, the leader plays a fundamental role. Because he should be an example to follow. Show a genuine commitment to promoting diversity and be able to inspire confidence and motivation in all your employees. 

For its part, the company must foster multicultural collaboration, putting employees from different backgrounds to work together, so that their experiences can enrich the technological development process.

Cultural diversity is a question of social justice, but it also turns out to be an interesting business strategy that drives innovation, especially in sectors as strategic as technology. Because by taking advantage of the richness that comes from having different cultural perspectives on staff, companies can solve problems more creatively and offer products that better fit the needs of a heterogeneous global audience.

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