How multiculturalism can help your business

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November 1, 2018

Nimble and adaptable organizations are the ones that thrive in today’s volatile and uncertain global business environment. In our company multiculturalism brings together a diverse bonanza of cultures and ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis.

I moved to the Netherlands over two years ago. I first worked as a software engineer at a large international company where English or German or French were the official spoken languages; however, most of my day to day interactions were in Italian (my native language), with colleagues from the same country (I was part of a small division working abroad). Nothing wrong with that - let’s be clear - but I felt that my experience abroad was sheltered.

Fast forward a year, and I’m now at WORTH, a full service digital agency in the Hague that brings together a diverse bonanza of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. In the image below, all the countries my colleagues are from are represented by the little pink rockets.

GLOBE worth internet systems countries

Early in its creation, CEOs Mark and Ernout believed in the adoption of a diverse business culture because this offers many advantages, not the least of these being that diversity aligns with the company’s self-driven and initiative-taking values. Ernout once told me that “..we [he and Mark] are building an organisation that values openness and that openness also translates to accept different cultures and backgrounds....” I find these words have made me think a little.

Let’s dive into why they’ve resonated:

Creativity booster

A diverse set of colleagues professionally enriches and exposes you to new skills and approaches to work. Each person looks at a situation through a different lens, and a unique perspective. This is extremely valuable as it develops a unique team comprised of unique individuals who solve problems in unique ways.

Quality & Respect

Adding social diversity to a group makes individuals aware that differences of perspective might exist among them and that belief encourages them to adjust their behavior.

When diverse team members notice that they are socially different from one another, they change their expectations in anticipation of differences of opinion and perspective, assuming they will need to work harder to come to a consensus.

People tend to work harder in diverse environments both cognitively and socially. It’s not an easy task, but the hard work, more often than not, leads to a superior outcome not only in terms of quality, but teamspirit and bonding. Furthermore, it builds a deep respect for each other.

Global Implications

At WORTH we craft software solutions that are implemented worldwide and therefore often require translations. We provide all this expertise internally. We are focused on the end user and we are not limited by a monocultural perspective, leading to a higher quality product outcome.

This list is not exhaustive; working in this diverse environment has helped me to grow as an individual and software engineering professional within our diverse organisation.

To give you a little taste of what diversity is like at WORTH, on my team the flags represented are: Italy, USA, Netherlands, Guatemala and Spain. ;)

Fabio blog multiculturalism worth internet sytems close

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