Diversity in Creativity: Tips for Cultural Sensitivity
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Promote inclusivity in creative spaces
  2. Educate yourself about different cultures
  3. Avoid cultural appropriation
  4. Embrace and celebrate differences
  5. Encourage diverse perspectives in creative work
  6. Practice active listening and open-mindedness

The beauty of diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry is that it paves the way for a broader spectrum of ideas, perspectives, and innovations. Embracing diversity isn't just about being politically correct or ticking a box. It's about creating an environment where everyone feels valued and their input is welcomed. So, how can we foster such an environment?

Promote inclusivity in creative spaces

Starting off, let's discuss how to promote inclusivity in our creative spaces.

Make everyone feel welcome

First and foremost, it's important to cultivate an environment where everyone feels welcome. This means not just accepting, but actively welcoming different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Treat everyone as an equal player in the creative process, regardless of their cultural background. After all, a fresh pair of eyes can offer a new perspective that you may not have considered before.

Create a safe space for dialogue

Next, encourage open and honest dialogue. This doesn't mean a free-for-all, but rather a respectful exchange of ideas. Make sure everyone knows they can speak their mind without fear of judgement or criticism. It's through these conversations that we can learn about each other and build a better understanding of our diverse world.

Actively seek diverse talent

Finally, don't just wait for diversity to come to you. Actively seek out individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This could mean hiring individuals from different cultural backgrounds, or even seeking out collaborations with organizations that promote diversity in the creative industry. By doing this, you're not just embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity, but actively promoting it.

By promoting inclusivity in creative spaces, we're not just making our workplaces more pleasant—we're also sparking the kind of innovative thinking that can only come from a multitude of perspectives. So, let's make our creative spaces a melting pot of ideas, where everyone's voice is not just heard, but valued.

Educate yourself about different cultures

Dipping your toes into the waters of embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry often begins with education. Let's dive into how you can broaden your cultural knowledge.

Read up on different cultures

Books, articles, documentaries—there's a wealth of resources out there that can help you learn about different cultures. Start including these into your media diet. You'd be surprised how much you can learn from a well-researched article or an insightful documentary. The key here is to approach it with an open mind and a readiness to learn.

Attend cultural events

Experiencing a culture firsthand is often the best way to understand it. Attend cultural festivals, art exhibitions, or performances whenever you can. Not only will you gain a deeper understanding of the culture, but you'll also have a great time in the process!

Engage in conversation

Learning about a culture isn't just about reading or watching—it's also about listening. Engage in conversations with people from different cultural backgrounds. Ask questions, listen attentively, and share your own experiences. Remember, it's not about comparing or competing—it's about understanding and appreciating each other's differences.

As we educate ourselves about different cultures, we're not just adding knowledge—we're cultivating empathy and understanding. And these are the very foundations of embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry.

Avoid cultural appropriation

As we continue our journey on embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry, it's important to discuss an often misunderstood term—cultural appropriation. It's the act of taking elements from a culture that's not your own, especially without showing understanding or respect. So, how can we avoid falling into this trap?

Understand the difference between appropriation and appreciation

It's not wrong to be inspired by other cultures, but there's a fine line between appreciation and appropriation. Appreciation involves respectful acknowledgment and a genuine interest in learning. On the other hand, appropriation might involve using cultural elements for personal gain or treating them as mere fashion trends.

Give credit where it's due

If you're drawing inspiration from a specific culture, always acknowledge it. This shows respect and helps maintain the balance between appreciation and appropriation.

Engage with the culture

There's no better way to appreciate a culture than by engaging with it. This could mean collaborating with artists from that culture, learning the language, or even visiting the place. It deepens your understanding and reduces the risk of misrepresentation.

By being careful and respectful, we can avoid cultural appropriation and truly embrace diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry. It's about creating a space where all cultures are valued and respected.

Embrace and celebrate differences

Moving forward in our exploration of embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry, let's consider the importance of celebrating differences. In a creative field, differences can be the catalyst for innovative ideas and unique perspectives.

Encourage self-expression

Encouraging creativity means welcoming self-expression in all its forms. Whether it's through art, writing, music, or design, self-expression is a powerful way of showcasing individuality and diversity. Each unique voice adds richness to the creative tapestry.

Learn from diverse experiences

Acknowledge the fact that people's experiences shape their perspectives. People from different cultural backgrounds can offer insights that you might never have considered. By embracing these diverse experiences, you open the door to a more well-rounded and inclusive creative process.

Celebrate diversity

Instead of merely accepting diversity, take it a step further by celebrating it. Highlight different cultures, traditions, and perspectives in your work. This not only promotes inclusivity but also makes for a more vibrant and engaging creative output.

By practicing these concepts, we can truly embrace and celebrate differences, further enhancing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry. Remember, the beauty of the world lies in its variety. Let's bring that beauty into our creative spaces.

Encourage diverse perspectives in creative work

Having laid the foundation of embracing and celebrating differences, let's now dive into the realm of encouraging diverse perspectives in our creative work. Unique perspectives can be the birthplace of radical innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.

Acknowledge all voices

When it comes to creative work, every voice matters. The young intern just out of college, the seasoned graphic designer, the marketing executive from another country — each person brings a unique viewpoint to the table. Make it a point to listen, acknowledge, and value these voices. You never know—you might just find your next big idea in these conversations.

Invite collaboration

Encourage individuals from different backgrounds to collaborate on projects. This invites a blend of ideas, styles, and experiences that can elevate the end product. Collaborative environments also foster respect and understanding among team members, strengthening the overall team dynamic.

Promote a safe space for ideas

Create a safe space where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas, regardless of how unconventional they might be. Remember, today's silly idea could be tomorrow's groundbreaking innovation. By promoting such an environment, you encourage diverse perspectives in your creative work.

As we move forward, let's keep these tips in mind. By giving room to diverse perspectives, we are not just embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry, we are actively driving its growth and evolution. Let's continue to break down walls, build bridges, and invite new ideas into our creative spaces.

Practice active listening and open-mindedness

As we strive towards embracing diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry, it's essential to practice active listening and open-mindedness. It's not enough to merely invite diverse perspectives; we must fully engage with these different viewpoints.

Active Listening: A critical skill

Active listening is far more than just hearing words. It's about understanding the ideas behind those words. Here's how you can practice it:

  • Give full attention: When someone is speaking, focus entirely on their words. Put your phone away and listen intently.
  • Reflect back: To ensure understanding, summarize what you've heard and reflect it back to the speaker.
  • Ask questions: If something isn't clear, ask for clarification. This shows the speaker that you are genuinely interested in understanding their perspective.

The Power of Open-Mindedness

Open-mindedness, on the other hand, is about being receptive to new ideas. It's about setting aside biases and preconceived notions to fully appreciate the perspective being shared. Here are some tips to foster open-mindedness:

  • Respect differences: Everyone has a unique perspective shaped by their experiences. Respect these differences, even if they challenge your own ideas.
  • Embrace uncertainty: It's okay not to have all the answers. Embracing uncertainty can lead to a deeper exploration of ideas and more innovative solutions.
  • Seek to learn: Approach each conversation with the goal of learning something new. This will naturally make you more receptive to different ideas.

By mastering active listening and open-mindedness, we can truly embrace diversity and cultural sensitivity in the creative industry. It's not just about having diverse teams; it's about authentically engaging with that diversity to create richer, more innovative creative work.

If you're interested in exploring the importance of diversity and cultural sensitivity in creativity, don't miss the workshop 'Building A Sustainable Career As A Multidisciplinary Artist' by Rosa van Iterson. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights on how to embrace and respect different cultures and perspectives while building a successful career as a multidisciplinary artist.