diversity-e1425048481664February is African American History Month, and when you think of how far we have progressed when it comes to celebrating our differences, it gives us a reason to stop and reflect on the theme of diversity.

Diversity is a pretty hot topic of workplace conversation these days, and while we all view it differently, it is an aspect of living and working that serves to enrich our values, experiences and opportunities.

The word “diversity” has many different meanings, but for us at Shaw & Associates the concept goes far beyond the boundaries of race, color, creed or cultural dispensation; it inspires creativity, new perspectives and new opportunities.

As an example, we have always taken gender and age diversity very seriously, and we are consistently seeking to build a balanced workplace. Beyond working to instill diversity inside of our office walls, there are many ways to encourage diversity beyond the team level, and one of the ways we have done this at Shaw & Associates is to place a great emphasis on community involvement. By working with local community groups that rely on the support of businesses and individuals, we are able to see through a different vantage point. And, the lessons that community involvement can teach us are critical to our internal values as a company: to remain respectful, show a genuine interest in those we interact with, and stay open-minded as to what can be learned from the situations or others. Of course, community involvement also has the added benefit of networking, strengthening relationship among employees, and helping teams see new perspectives.

What does diversity mean to you and why do you think it is important? Respond with your thoughts about diversity and you will win a pair of tickets to any 2016 OpenStage Theatre performance.