Can you suggest practical ways to develop workplaces undivided by gender and race ethnicity?
Regardless of the workplace, every person who works for an organization is an essential part of it. After all, an organization is the combination of all of its smaller parts, together. This "togetherness" works even better when it also includes teamwork, cohesiveness, and esprit de corps; it is the only way to be motivated to work for a common goal.
a) Establishing a common goal
Reaching a common goal is the maxim that should permeate the atmosphere of the workplace; with a clear goal in mind, the diversity of cultures, talents, and interests of each individual becomes an asset, and not a limitation, towards common progress.
b) Workplace democracy
A current practice in educational and business organizations is the establishment of a clear and defined "workplace democracy". This concept concedes every worker in the organization the guarantee that they will be equally appreciated and influential within the culture of the organization. This guarantee is put in motion during meetings and by creating focus groups that equally involve everybody's input.
c) Focus groups
By creating different focus groups that tap on the overall talents of the workers, there will be less time to think about differences and more opportunities to work together as a group. To know the talents of individuals within the workplace, the best practice is to administrate either an Interest or a Skills-based Inventory Survey.
d) Skills-based, or interest-based inventories
These tools can be created by the organizational leaders, and their job is to directly ask employees what abilities and interests spark their motivation to work towards a goal. The data that is gathered in these surveys will, eventually, drive the course of the organization. Knowing who your workers are, what they can do, and what they are capable of doing is the first step to building a cohesive working environment.
Keep in mind that hundreds of theories in organizational leadership continue to surface as the industries change with the advent of technology, and with the constant social changes that occur through time. There will always be new and innovative ways to deflect the negative connotation of the concept of "diversity", and re-direct our focus into using our differences as assets, and not limitations.