There are several types of culture: work culture, environmental culture, behavioural culture and so forth. In the context of diversity, I’ll be speaking about work and environmental culture. Incidentally, in cultures where people are shy about giving opinions, you’ll notice that the empathetic style of listening—where you never ask for an opinion—works wonderfully. A person from such a culture will feel much more comfortable in a conversation where opinion and preference never come up. (Young, 2015)For example, in Asian culture, it’s rude to talk over or give an opinion to elders. This makes things difficult in the design thinking/creative stance. ‘For girls of colour, meeting the ‘niceness’ expectation requires overcoming racially discriminatory barriers to acceptance.
‘ (Rizvi, 2017) This links up to Malcolm Gladwell ‘Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes’, where he explains that ‘less powerful members of organisations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally’ especially in ‘low power distance index countries’ like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Jamaica. (Gladwell, 2008) “I get criticked in the way I do public speaking, and people ask me to “talk in a way which is normal”, but they don’t get that this is how ethnic people of colour and background different to them speak.” Arfah Farooq, Muslamic Makers”I see it in Brunei, these women are frustrated.
It’s equal opportunity, but women are more frustrated and want to express themselves more, self-expression, be able to sustain themselves based on that.”Chai and Jirah, CreativateThis claim that the culture of origin affects the later scenarios (whether it’s a plane crash or a workplace meeting) reinforces the idea of environmental culture affecting the work culture as one affects the other. So in a world where women are expected to “be seen and not heard” and be demure and ladylike in the work place, ‘all I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinion, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.’ (Rizvi, 2017)Rizvi’s point is reinforced by one of my interviewees, where she said when in conflict, her boss explains things softly to her, because he does not think she can handle the boldness of the truth.
This goes to show that ‘culture plays an important role in determining how well an individual fits into an organizational context.’ (Chatman, 1991)” I had a man tell me he was right because he’s the older experienced man.”Bethan Harris, Collectively”I was asked recently how I got to be a professor at the age of 38. I said honestly that I’m a white man who speaks with a BBC accent.” Professor Mike Press, DundeeSub Chapter: CULTURE CONTRASTResearch in this area is limited, nonetheless I did a lot of primary research observations and conversations with regards to the culture of Asian Muslims, as well as drawing experiences from myself.What is the difference between an Asian woman and an Asian Muslim woman?The element of religion embedded into the culture.
As mentioned in the page above, some cultures fixate on preferences and opinions, letting those stand in for deeper reasoning, but other ‘low power index’ country cultures tend to hold opinions more privately because it is considered impolite to thrust your opinion up against someone else’s publicly. (Young, 2015)In Western culture, using demographics as shorthand for people’s thinking is widespread and common – especially in mainstream media, entertainment professional presentations, and casual conversation. People often make demographic statements without knowing it. (Young, 2015)There is a difference between cultural appropriation and cultural offence, and the demographic statements can unintentionally cause cultural offence.
Young emphasises that even with multiple occurances of this being culture, ‘correlation is not causation’ and is holds no reason or influence on how you should see a person. (Young, 2015) These “blanket statements” do not cover all, as not only are they dangerous to demographics, but they could also border onto racism and stereotyping.What we could do is to try and ‘understand the empathic mindset by referring to specific people or to a reasoning-based behavioural segment instead of a demographic.
‘ (Young, 2015)We need to be able to tackle these issues in order to be able to encourage Asian Muslim women to enter the design tech space with a peace of mind. This not only benefits them, but anyone else who wants to enter the space without judgement or bias.’Having too homogeneous a culture leads to group think.
.. It also leads to rejection of people who do not share preferences and opinions, and to outright discrimination.’ (Young, 2015) The ability to looking in deeper than preferences and opinions is key as it allows the people to look at guiding principles, which are more deeply rooted than the surface level of preferences and opinions from what social media has given. (Young, 2015)Another thing is that some countries (particularly those in the Asian region) and even some UK schools, don’t advocate the study for art and design. “The sector is not deemed as a viable job.
Culturally, the consensus is medical, engineering, IT..” Saj, Muslamic MakersCultural differences too are affecting and impacting international businesses, as noted from the Hult International Business School.
As multinational and cross cultural teams are getting common, it means businesses need to be able to ‘understand the important of subtle non-verbal communication’ which are especially critical for the international market, and ensure that they have the workplace etiquette and organisational hierarchy that works for everyone. (News, 2017)n the context of a organisational hierarchy culture, the accuracy of this non verbal communication depends on the management staff. For example, the company may intend to hire diversely, but if it is not being communicated properly by the next level of hiring managers, it could be percieved in the organisation as racially or ethnically biased. Therefore, it’s key that the decision makers make their workplace culture to be aligned with the company values, and should ‘concerned with the longevity of the organization,'(Indi Young, 2015) as this could make or break their company as a structure. I’ve referenced this to Steve Rawling’s behavioural chart, where it states that a workplace’s culture and values can be determined from the bottom up or top down.
(as mentioned in the earlier example)This top down culture establishment is also key in ensuring that everyone in the company are sharing (or at the very least aware) of the values of the company. (Rawling, 2017) Another example was Slack’s hiring process. Slack was very much aware that the hiring circuit involved hiring from the same network pool, and they did not want to do that. With that in mind, they hired from outside their networking pool, in order to reach a more diverse pool of people. Because they continued this in mind, the company employees were aware and hence as a result, Slack has had one of the highest numbers of diversity to date as a company.Having this ‘similarity in group members’ goals and values enhances interpersonal relations within the group’ (Hackman, 1990) and will likely decrease relationship conflict as (Jehn, 1994) sharing values are a fundamental element in most definitions of organizational culture. (Chatman, 1991)”It’s beautiful to have a different views within the same organisation, but with some commonality.
“Yinka Danmole, LondonResearch shows that ‘a balance of traditionally masculine and feminine approaches in workplace yields the best results.’ (Rizvi, 2017)Establishing a culture of safety involves a fundamental shift in thinking and behaviour and organization-wide commitment. It takes time to create and time to foster, but it is an investment well worth making because of the positive impact it can have on the health of any business and its workforce.
(Ward, 2017)”It makes business sense”- Babs Ofori Acquah