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    Me+you=diversity and mutual respect at Mayo

One of our committed allied health staff members in Arizona recently submitted a quote to the site Diversity Subcommittee for our Best Quote contest that depicts a compelling statement about the importance of diversity. In response to the nominal prize she received, here’s her submission and story:

"What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us."

~US Senator Edward Kennedy

"I would like you to know that the 'prize' was not the motivation for my entry. I came to Mayo Clinic from a career primarily in restaurants. Over the years, I had become very discouraged by the actions, attitudes and general lack of respect of others that I saw on a daily basis in the workplace. For that reason, I felt very fortunate when I was hired at Mayo eight years ago. One of the things that I found most interesting as I embraced all that was Mayo was its philosophy of diversity in the workplace.

Some articles I’ve read on the subject suggest that diversity in the workplace is a lot of hype and that it fosters miscommunication, stereotyping, and conflict. Many policies dictate that all are to be accepted and that all must get along and that everyone should, in essence, become "the same." If that is the case, then people never get a chance to grapple with their own differences.

However, when an organization couples mutual respect with diversity, as Mayo has and does, explicitly acknowledges differences and encourages people to bring their different perspectives to the table, wonderful things can happen. I’m happy to be a part of that atmosphere."  -- Marilyn, Food and Nutrition Services

Bravo, Marilyn! You’ve personified why our employees enjoy working here. It is because of their compassionate team members from all over the world, the culture of wellness we all commit to, and the vision of care for every patient that we live every day. I could not have said it better!

Yvette Martin works in Human Resources at Mayo Clinic in Arizona

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