Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CULTURAL COMPETENCE a must-have in our global economy

Today SU has organized on a really cool program for grad students: Communicating your Multicultural Competence through your Resume.

The workshop, put on by the Career Center and Office of Multicultural Affairs, explores the importance of multicultural competence in various professional roles. They'll help students develop concrete resume bullet points that speak to individual awareness, knowledge, and skills.

I served on a panel this morning for Public Relations Society of America Puget Sound that dealt with multicultural trends and issues as they pertain to PR. It was an insightful, informative panel (Steve Sneed of FESTAL and Chris Ishiwaki of Sound Mental Health added a lot of expertise), but there will be a podcast available soon so I won't go into it here.

BUT GET THIS: In 2025, one of every four U.S. residents will be Latino. In 2050, half of the U.S. will be a "minority." Diversity is the new white! And employers appreciate that value-add you bring when you can demonstrate cultural competence in the workplace. At the same time, your life can be enriched by a better understanding of cultures.

We've heard from several contacts that clients are looking for cultural competence, and they want to know where to get it. Well, there's no easy button for that! Start looking at/listening to/watching different media that might open your eyes, read books that detail other cultures, meet new people who can bring their cultural gifts to the friendship, attend events that open your eyes to new traditions, learn a language!

These are some of the ways to enhance your cultural competence. You can also hire cultural experts, such as Lee Mozena of Zenith Diversity. Lee's a pro at this, and her personal strength is in Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures. You can check out One event of hers that I'm looking forward to is next week, and it's FREE:

WHAT: Cultural Keys and Cues: A Guide for "Northwest Nice" Folks

WHEN: February 25, Noon - 1pm

WHERE: Community Capital Development, 1437 S. Jackson St, Seattle 98144

Here's the blurb: Increase your confidence, skills and awareness in dealing with non-Western cultures. This seminar helps mainstream business owners understand and effectively manage cultural differences at work. Learn specific "do's and don'ts" around issues like touch, eye contact and gender roles, plus the WHY behind them. Discover how cultural norms and values influence employee behaviors around time, interacting styles, respect and community obligations.

Hope to see you there!


  1. Check out the PRSA's blog post on this event:

  2. Lauri:

    What you and a group of progressive communicators are doing in the cultural competence arena is commendable. Having the auspice of the PRSA in your area is cool. We ( have been doing several engagements with the local PRSA and American Marketing Association chapters to continue educating decision makers that still do not realize the power of the Latino/multicultural markets.
    I am an open LinkedIn networker and very interested to establish relationships with other professionals here in the US and abroad.

    Abrazos (hugs),
    Eduardo Crespo


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