Associate HR Manager, Stryker
“Cultural diversity often brings together diversity of thought, which occurs when different people from different backgrounds get together. It’s definitely not — or shouldn’t be — a box-ticking exercise.”
“It’s not about saying: ‘Look at us! We employ five people from this country and five people from that country.’ Rather it’s about appreciating where all people come from and what they contribute to an organisation.
I’m from Germany, […] it’s been interesting to discover that there is much more that unites us than divides us.
“Stryker’s additive manufacturing is a disruptive innovation; in times of disruption, you need diverse perspectives to explore different ways forward. That’s hugely beneficial for a company, because — thanks to their different backgrounds — colleagues will have different opinions and different, unusual ideas, which maybe no-one had thought of before.
“It’s tempting for people to remain in their comfort zone and mix with people who are similar to them. But if you have a conversation with someone who has a different view to yours, it can bring you closer together and help generate better ideas.
“We are lucky to work for a global company. We are passionate about cultural diversity by, for example, making video calls to teams in other offices around the world so that people can feel closer to each other. Colleagues will pro-actively share stories from their backgrounds, because we care about each other, our differences are what make us unique.
Our customers come from all around the world. That means they have diverse needs, diverse perspectives and diverse ethnic backgrounds.
“We also have exchange programmes — so, for example, colleagues in the U.S. might visit our offices in Germany for a couple of weeks.
“Our customers come from all around the world. That means they have diverse needs, diverse perspectives and diverse ethnic backgrounds. We need people who can put themselves in their positions — and that’s only possible if we have diverse employees and diverse leadership teams.
“I’m from Germany. When I first came to Ireland, I was curious to see if it would be very different. Of course, I’ve noticed different traditions and etiquette here — and the weather certainly isn’t the same! But in the end, it’s been interesting to discover that there is much more that unites us than divides us. We all like to collaborate, help each other and we are really driven to do our best.
“I think the world needs cultural diversity more than ever. We all have to be flexible and get used to working with different time-zones, language barriers and age profiles. The more culturally diverse we are, the better we can react to customers and changing markets”.