Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

Greenville’s Diversity Helps to Make it a Great Place to Live and Do Business

Jul 01, 2022 04:04PM ● By Gina Bridges

Greenville is a world-class city on many “best” lists. Over the past few years Greenville has been ranked fifth by Conde Nast Travelers Readers’ Best City, 10th in Top Best Places to Live in the U.S. by Livability, fifth in Southern Living readers as Best “Foodie Paradise.”

Forbes magazine ranked downtown 18th in America’s Best Downtown, 10th in Wall Street Journal Greenville’s “Dream Town, USA,” and 13th place in Travel + Leisure America’s Most Underrated Cities. Greenville is a great town, a world-class business city, with vibrant communities and a burgeoning arts scene.  It deserves the praise.

I’ve been thinking about rankings since my friend and colleague was acknowledged in “35 Best and Brightest under 35.” The awards ceremony demonstrated a remarkable array of young professionals in business, entrepreneurship, the arts, and those dedicated to community. 

I haven’t stopped wondering … shouldn’t there be a “list” of businesses and organizations in the Upstate doing diversity, equity, and inclusion right?

International business is the fabric of Greenville. It is the infusion of different people, thoughts, and practices that makes Greenville special and has long sustained families and the community. How can we honor the dedicated individuals, businesses, institutions of higher education, schools, nonprofits, and philanthropists creating space for understanding?

I have so many questions. What does that look like? What are the components of a fair playing field?  What are the metrics? Best practices? Employee satisfaction feed loop? How do organizations succeed in building high functioning teams who respect one another as individuals and for their different characteristics? Where should we start?

My curiosity about this list is beyond me. It’s a community conversation and a priority.  Locally, Greenville’s domestic and global business leaders, REEM Commission, and organizations dedicated to cultural and racial equity can guide understanding. Nationally, MeasureUp measures key metrics for the largest companies. Is it a combination of that and more? Who is going to do all this work?

One of the more interesting pieces I came across was “Types of Diversity in the Workplace You Need to Know” (October 2021 Build In).

Their list  included race, ethnicity, age, citizenship status, education, income, skills, beliefs, upbringing, national origin, management status, cognitive disabilities, physical abilities and disabilities, mental health, neurodiversity, behavior and ethnodiversity, personality and thought-style, cultural background, geographic location, language, linguistics and accents. 

We all need to learn to work together.

Gina Bridges is a nine-year resident of Greenville who enjoys working with educators and the nonprofit community.