Sandy Cross is chief people officer of PGA of America. Views are the author's own.
What do you think of when you hear the words "diversity" and "inclusion"? Many people use them almost interchangeably, but though connected, they are — simply put — very different. Knowing the difference will help you tap the power of their promise and help your company do the same, thereby delivering on that promise and utilizing the potential of every single mind and talent on your team and in your organization.
When it comes to diversity, we are including a variety of descriptors that go into making each person unique — descriptors such as age, race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and communication style. And that's only naming a few! The key thing to understand is the spirit of the words. As American activist Verna Myers has aptly put it, "Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance."
As the Chief People Officer of the PGA of America, I've seen firsthand how golf and inclusion are intertwined. If you ask anyone who golfs, they'll usually say they began because someone invited them to play. At the PGA, we cannot assume a person or community that is not engaging with our sport knows they are welcome here or that this is a sport for them. We have to actively extend our hand and not only invite them to the party but ask them to dance — or, in golf parlance, invite them to play and create a welcoming atmosphere for them to do so.
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