Diversity is not a just a touchy-feely, feel good thing. It is the key to your business’s success in tomorrow’s business environment. It is also the key indicator that will determine if your company thrives. It is about attitudes, and perceptions.

When you understand what diversity really is, you’ll then be able to understand how your and your employee’s attitudes affect your company’s bottom-line results. But where do we start?

Let’s take a moment to think back to when you were a kid—ya know, just a few weeks ago. 😉 At this time, the opposite sex still had cooties! EEEEWWWWW cooties, you’re a boy stay away from me! Circle, circle, dot, dot, now I have my cootie shot. There was girl-power and boys were made of bugs and mud while girls were made of everything sweet.

Are you noticing a trend there? Boys are presented badly, they’re trouble! Why would anyone want to have a son? But in reality, boys are the preferred gender in most cultures because they carry on the family name, can do the heavy lifting, and in some cultures, are responsible to take care of the parents in their senior years.

How long did it take you to realize that cooties weren’t real? Or that, boys weren’t so bad? Or that girls are not always so good and sweet? What changed your perceptions . . . assuming they have changed?

As a kid, you didn’t attend trainings or hang posters on your wall to tell you that girls really didn’t have cooties. You had to experience them and get use to them. This usually happens through the family dynamic and friends of the family. Then there is day care and school; summer camps and sports.

Through exposure, positive experiences, and hormonal changes of course, your perception of the opposite sex changed. That is what you need to recreate in your business—without the temper tantrums and cootie shots!