Held every year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a global celebration of cultural diversity.
To mark World Culture Day this year, Stewarts’ Inclusion Committee hosted an event inviting our lawyers and staff to bring in traditional dishes to celebrate various cultural heritages. Varsha Chandrasegaran and Ben Townsend summarise the importance of World Culture Day and the Stewarts event here.
What is World Culture Day?
World Culture Day is a United Nations-backed international holiday to promote discussion and consideration of diversity and dialogue issues. This day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals adopted by the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. These are:
- Supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture.
- Achieving a balance flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals.
- Integrating culture in sustainable development frameworks.
- Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Why is promoting cultural diversity important?
Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. The UN has deemed bridging the gap between cultures as urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development on a global scale.
There are also other good reasons for companies to embrace cultural diversity, beyond the traditional values of equality. By definition, diversity means welcoming a range of differing ideas and perspectives, as well as a broader range of people with various experiences and understandings.
Evidence suggests that embracing a diverse workforce will attract greater creativity and innovation. Studies by Harvard Business Review found that companies that take a well-rounded approach to diversity operate with a higher level of innovation and inspiration.
Other benefits of cultural diversity include being able to compassionately understand differences and avoid judgment; and better problem solving, as people from different backgrounds tend to approach tasks differently. Cultural diversity is also a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.
Celebrating World Culture Day at Stewarts
To commemorate World Culture Day in 2022, our staff were invited to bring in traditional dishes to celebrate their own cultural heritage or a culture that interests them, and share their food with other colleagues. Food is an integral part of many cultures around the world. Every culture’s cuisine is different, but food unites cultures and brings people together. The food brought in by Stewarts’ staff spanned many different cuisines including British, Italian, Austrian, Caribbean and many others.
Ben Townsend, a partner in the PI department and Diversity Champion, said:
“At Stewarts we really embraced the celebration of the cultural richness of our firm that World Culture Day represents, which makes me very proud.”
Below are snaps of some of our delicious, diverse delicacies.
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