2016 Apllicant – Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship
Mackenzie Cappelle – Pepper Pike, Ohio
The most pressing problem in today’s society is the lack of understanding or communication among countries and groups of people. At the root of all conflict is the failure to appreciate and respect differing cultures, ideas, or beliefs. One solution is to promote diversity, where individuals, groups, and organizations are exposed to and learn new concepts about others, leading to a more informed environment for mutually rewarding decision-making. Yet, if promoting diversity was that easy, the world would not be facing so many problems such as wars, embargoes, and tense racial relations. I believe that the answer lies in embracing our differences.
Business plays a huge role in the relations between countries. Through trade and innovation, business has managed to connect a multitude of countries. However, too often, smaller and less powerful nations have been exploited for their resources and treated in an inferior manner. For instance, more developed countries continue to benefit from illegal diamond mining activity across the globe, mainly in Africa, at the expense of war and civil unrest for local citizens. While the aim of business is to produce lasting lucrative results, there doesn’t appear to be a universal consensus within the business community on how to accomplish this ethically. Countries constantly feud over resources and attempt to intimidate or oppress other nations toward that end. Too often, we forget how business and trade bring the world together. This problem is directly related to a disregard or a lack of understanding of other cultures. A hierarchy of power has been created that ranks countries from most influential to least, creating a fertile environment for conflict and disrespect to flourish among countries. I believe, as future leaders of the business world, students today have a unique and great opportunity to address this challenge with the desired end result being that companies no longer condone, implicitly or explicitly, corruption and exploitation in pursuit of profits. Instead, we should endeavor to build our fortunes on the basis of respect and acknowledgement of the diverse cultures of the world. Students today, such as myself, need to make the commitment to improve diversity initiatives by changing the culture in the business workplace.
One might ponder how promoting cultural diversity in the business environment could make a significant impact on global issues. By prioritizing acceptance of diversity as an operating norm in the business world, a rationale of morality would be established. It is very easy to fall into the mentality of “us and them” in the business world. If suddenly the lines between “us and them” were eliminated through acceptance, appreciation, and respect for cultural diversity, it would be more difficult to turn a blind eye to corrupt business practices when these actions directly affect employees. While diversity initiatives have been set in place by most businesses, there has been minimal, if any, impact on society as a whole. The problems of the world will not be solved until a majority of companies choose to authentically embrace diversity for the benefit of their company and the world.
Thank you to all of our applicants. Please check out the annual Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship for current opportunities.