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Business diversity

The word diversity often bears a politically-charged identity these days and that’s unfortunate. It is a perfectly good word, and a perfectly good idea — one that demands our attention.

In nature, monocultures, those lacking diversity, are often the most vulnerable, and subsequently, most susceptible to devastation. It might be disease or a dramatic change in environmental conditions, but whatever the cause, the culture lacks the ability to adapt. Its homogenous character leads to its collapse, if not outright extinction.

An interesting example of monoculture vulnerability has been circulating in information technology circles. In short, a security analyst has posited that Microsoft’s software ubiquity threatens global computer security. And as we’ve seen in frequent virus attacks and system hacks, all enabled by Microsoft security flaws and the software’s widespread usage, there may very well be something to that notion.

Clearly, science illustrates the importance of diversity.

In this week’s issue, the Mississippi Business Journal has delved into the increasingly diverse nature of the state, particularly the women- and minority-owned businesses hard at work — and making a difference — in the Magnolia State. The stories that these business leaders tell are compelling and often inspiring, and they too show us the great strengths, ideas and adaptability which spring forth from diverse communities, organizations — and economies.

That’s the real value of that word, and perhaps it’s a lesson more of us will remember the next time we hear it, putting political considerations aside.

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