The Power of Diversity: It May Not Be What You Think!

Issue 08 and Volume 172.

By Eddie Buchanan When the topic of diversity in fire departments crosses the human resources (HR) chief’s desk, it often brings the dreaded sense of counting things—how many personnel by race and gender and how these demographics correlate to the community demographics. Although it is a goal to match your department demographics to those of the community from an HR perspective, that alone falls short of the potential power of diversity in our organizations. There is much more potential in creating a truly diverse organization. We should also acknowledge that our natural tendencies also play a role in diversity. It is true that we naturally gravitate toward others we view as being like us. Smart HR managers use this concept when selecting entry-level interview panels. Identify those in your organization whom you would like to “clone” and use those people on your interview panel. By natural tendency, they will gravitate…

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