Diversity in Energy Op-ed: Thinking Globally Requires Local, Regional Mindset

A one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across the world.

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The last few decades have seen businesses such as Home Depot, Mattel, Starbucks and Walmart try and fail to break into international markets. While these attempts have been varied, the crucial failing has been characterized by a common thread. These businesses often approached global expansion from a viewpoint that assumed that what is true of North America and Western Europe is true globally. This resulted in an oversight of cultural, social, ethnic and religious nuances present in the communities where they aimed to succeed.

The events of the last year have buttressed the importance and feasibility of leveraging regional-focused approaches to responding to problems. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, countries across the world closed their borders, and many were forced to look inward for solutions to problems and innovate around resources they once outsourced. The U.S., for example, became more aware of its reliance on China and India for pharmaceuticals, which led many to call for the reshoring and in-sourcing of supply chains. This approach is beneficial both practically and culturally. 

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that organizations that lead global projects from the topdown require a handful of people to tune in with hundreds of different groups’ cultural and religious nuances. Projects built from the ground up cut out this work, dealing with local issues at the source and allowing a community to ensure a project represents their group before it is brought into international dialogue. It ensures solutions to issues are applicable and relevant for each area.

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