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Admiral Mike Mullen

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) recently hosted an event in NYC to honor Admiral Mike Mullen, recently retired chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, for his instrumental work in repealing the US military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

This policy made it impossible for GLB service members to openly disclose their sexual preference while in the armed forces. Admiral Mullen fought for the repeal because he believed that the military would be stronger as a result of its diversity, and that those who wanted to serve should serve freely. Early results to date have shown positive results in terms of morale and effectiveness.

As was Admiral Mullen’s belief, maintaining a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do, but the business critical thing to do. Businesses must reflect the talent pool and marketplace, which are increasingly diverse. Driving innovation in products, processes, and go to market approaches is key in the business world today, and the varied perspectives of employees with different backgrounds, cultures, and ideas help do just that. In order to foster an inclusive workplace and environment, both within a company’s own walls and throughout its ecosystem; people need to believe that they have a place to belong, regardless of the way they look, or their orientation, or their country of origin.

My colleagues and I had the pleasure of attending the momentous tribute to Admiral Mullen as representation for SAP, a dedicated sponsor of the event.  You could feel the awe in the room at what had been accomplished by an institution not usually known for leading in this respect.  It inspired others to rally behind the power of diversity and make establishing a diverse workforce a priority in their organization. If the military can do it, so can any business.

In short, reflecting and including diverse perspectives and people helps businesses run better. Innovate better. Sell better. And helps the world run like never before.

Image Credit: http://www.topnews.in/law/people/admiralmikemullen

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