Four Reasons Why Diversity Matters
Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded mentor?
I certainly wish I could. And today, thanks to the inventor of the World Wide Web, Matthew Lozada, and fabulous interviewer, you too can benefit from Matthew’s sage advice and impeccable business skills.
In just one year, Matthew was promoted not once but twice at Weddingwire. They have a strong focus on their core values, so his promotion largely demonstrated his ability to “be bold, be curious, fail fast, and delight customers". Additionally, Matthew is responsible for the two fastest growing markets in his company. On top of his business record, Matthew leads the Diversity and Inclusion team at his office and strives to make it an equal playing field.
We asked Matthew to share four things he finds frustrating about the current standards in the workplace and how he combatted them. These four things prove why diversity is vital to the workplace.
Matthew’s Qualm: “There are levels of prejudice in the workplace that play into the politics of getting promoted and being able to advance”.
Matthew’s Solution: Matthew fought this by proving his worth. He started in small markets and performed exceptionally well so that he was able to prove that he can be trusted with bigger markets. He worked hard and got awarded in the way he deserved. He feels that his diverse cultural background was a great asset in his steps up the latter at Weddingwire.
Matthew’s Qualm:“My ethnic heritage has, at times, affected not only others perception of me as a leader or as management material- but has also influenced buying and customer service decisions that my other colleagues don't have to face”
Matthew’s Solution: However, Matthew knows this is not true. In fact, he says that, “living in a developing country background and working with immigrants especially has given me a unique perspective that even some minority leaders in the workplace don’t always have”.
Matthew’s Qualm: “I think here in America it almost seems un-American to speak anything but English, there is this unfortunate stigma that we only speak English here and it is a very ignorant perspective”.
Matthew’s Solution: But Matthew beats this stigma. He is trilingual and has found it to be a huge business perk. To prove that being multicultural helps business he looks to European workspaces. “Most of my colleagues in Barcelona speak anywhere from 3-5 languages fluently and that puts them in a better position to be able to not just add value to their companies but to themselves personally because they are able to travel around to different countries and understand different contexts.”
Matthew’s Qualm: “I think that just in the American workplace, that multilingualism and multi-cultural aspect is often seen as something that can be more confusing and divisive rather than bringing about cohesion and strength.”
Matthew’s Solution: Matthew has seen this in two places. In his personal life and at work. He was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States at 10 years old. This made him privy to two cultures from a young age. Professionally, he spent a few weeks in Europe after being a top performer at Weddingwire. He was able to learn from the overseas office which expanded his view. In both cases, he has “seen diversity really expand our area in the market share”.
Matthew exemplifies why diversity is so important. Not because of his background or impressive career. It is because it shows that diversity is not only good for people and communities but good for business. Business is business. It is important to show that diversity leads to more money. Matthew does just this by using his multicultural background to boost his career and defy the stereotypes.
Thank you, Matthew, for your time and wonderful advice.