At CDW, our strategy is about cultivating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion to drive better collaboration, innovation and business results. We’re taking steps to nurture belonging in ways that are meaningful and sustainable. We are committed to supporting our coworkers with world-class educational resources and development opportunities.
Last month, CDW kicked off the “What is your superpower?” educational series with Dr. Elise Temple, Vice President, Neuroscience and Client Service at NielsenIQ. By exploring the connection between multilingualism, coworker experience and business outcomes, we can create an inclusive culture where everyone can reach their full potential.
The pandemic has dismantled countless barriers that stood in the way of remote work. Now, with more opportunities opening up for employees around the world, countless companies are thinking creatively about how to bridge communication and cultivate a multilingual workforce.
In the workplace, language allows us to communicate with each other, embrace our differences and build a better sense of empathy. “Language is social. It evolved as a universal survival tool to communicate and build community among us,” said Dr. Temple.
Beyond language, multilingual people experience unique benefits and challenges. Studies consistently show that multilingual people have a better ability to switch between tasks and hold information in working memory. Multilingualism also comes with unique socioemotional benefits: “Knowing different languages makes you see the world differently and in a broader perspective,” said Dr. Temple.
At the same time, many multilingual people face obstacles in the workplace. Some multilingual people might have trouble finding the “right” word or understanding complex language in noisy environments because of how languages are interdigitated in the brain.
Representation matters. At CDW, we embrace a multilingual environment by creating an inclusive culture where all coworkers feel seen, heard and validated. “We need to model the behavior that we want to encourage,” said Dr. Temple. “If leaders don’t admit their weaknesses and acknowledge them, it won’t do any good to encourage coworkers to do it.”
Our multilingual leaders and allies stand up for everyone’s right to belong by building confidence and breaking down barriers. Here’s some advice from our amazing leaders on promoting inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging in the workplace.
– Molly Watson, Sr. Systems Engineer
– Nathan Coutinho, Head of Analyst Relations & Business Strategy at Logitech (CDW Partner)
– Alex Arteaga, Director, Partner Investment
– James Easter, Sr. Coworker Relations Business Partner
– CDW Team