The SRN committee is pleased to announce a new networking event on Diversity.
Thursday 17th November at 5pm– Room B1 – The Hemsley, University Park
The topic of diversity can be involved with many different avenues of research. Are you interested in Biodiversity such as how farming techniques have left us vulnerable to disease? Or are you looking at the pros and cons of diversity in the workplace? Diversity can also be approached from a business point of view to explore the needs and limitations of diversification? SRN has briefly explored these three themes below, however there is any number of possible research areas, so please come along to meet others interested in Diversity.
Biodiversity is one of the main areas of research in nature; this can be looking at the need for a diverse gene pool to help with evolution. Many species have developed methods to ensure there is sufficient mixing of genes, such as the different sexes in animals.
This can also be linked to how industrial scale farming has streamlined gene pools to achieve certain outcomes such as an increased yield but has left the crops vulnerable to disease as previous resistant genes have been lost. One example of this is the Cavendish banana; it is practically the only banana eaten in Europe, the UK and North America. This species of banana can be traced back to one banana tree grown at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire in 1835. This species is now susceptible to a new strain of the Panama disease which wiped out most of the foreign export banana trees in the 1950s.
Although diversity in the workplace is a completely different area the same themes are present. Diversity is often seen as beneficial by wider society and many companies. It is thought to promote cooperation and accommodate different points of views and methods to tackle problems. However there has been some research showing that workforces can be ‘too diverse’ which can then hamper productivity.
Looking at diversity from more of a business point of view there is a common consensus of businesses needing to diversify products and investment in order to reduce risk. However this is always contrasted by the company needing to maintain their expertise in a certain area/market. One example of this dilemma is Apple; they started off as a high end computer company and slowly diversified into music, phones and tablets to become one of the biggest companies in the world. More recently they seem to be losing ground in some of these markets and there is a push by shareholders for a new product to revitalize the company. There has been talk of an ‘Apple Car’; will this be a step too far in their push to diversify the business?
We look forward to seeing you there to briefly discuss these issues followed by a networking session to meet other people and groups interested in all aspects of diversity.