An abundance of studies in the past few years have shed light on the tremendous value of diversity in the workplace. Not only can working with a wider variety of people help open our minds and encourage us to voice our opinions, it can also help boost creativity, drive economic growth, and reverse deep-seated trends of discrimination and structural disadvantage. According to the results of a recent study by scholars at the University of Minnesota, diversity in the workplace can also bear a considerable influence on our patterns of charitable giving.

In the study, researchers looked at 16,000 people from different walks of life and analyzed the influence different social groups had on the levels of contribution to a workplace charity drive. The results? Employees’ perceptions of themselves and their role in the world changed considerably depending on who they worked with. Having more women in the office encouraged men to give more money, and work units with a greater number of minority employees meant greater levels of donations by minority employees at large.

The implications of the study extend well beyond the limits of the workplace, impacting, in the words of the researchers, “the broader society” as a whole. It seems we can never overestimate the power in diversifying our worlds.

Photo courtesy Lafayette College

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