Understanding The Demographics Beyond The Stereotypes


Well, I have returned from my home country, England! Yes, I was there for the Olympics (which is the reason why it has been a little quiet on my blog). I also took the opportunity to go down memory lane and just savor the delights and offerings of London and the country. So why am I sharing this? Well the city has changed so much on so many levels over the past few decades. The one change I want to bring to your attention, is the one of people.

Even though we are in the year 2012, there is still this mis-guided notion of the make-up of England. The Brits are not made up of white men in bowler hats. Okay, I am being a little extreme but I must say, as I sport my braids and obvious black frame in North America, a significant number of people are still surprised when they meet me for the first time regarding my British accent and place of origin. Seriously.

In business, we often talk about globalization as it relates to a product or service with little thought to the changing demographics of the people in many of those countries. The reality is, people are travelling and immigrating like never before in our history.   My own parents were enticed to the UK as part of the post World War II labor need  to rebuild the country. War, change in government are common reasons for immigration and with the ease of travel and immigration, it has meant a cross-fertilization of cultures and people.  The past 40 years have seen a significant movement of people across the globe.

To make my point, here is a one minute video-clip of an East–end market in London to demonstrate this diversity.

Video link: Diversity in EastEnd London England

You will note that this English market is very vibrant which is true of any English market. You will also note how diverse it is!  Black, White, Brown… all shades and all colours. A variety of different cultural clothing and makeup.  The Londoner is no longer made up of a homogeneous race divided just by class. It is a living mosaic.The Londoner

Other countries are also increasing their cultural mosaic. Once again, I would like to draw on my own background to make this point. Trinidad has a significant Indian population. Jamaica has a large Chinese demographic. Canada is known for its many cultures.

As leaders and travellers, it is so important to do your homework. Engage with people who have lived in the countries you will be visiting; read the daily news to get a sense of the people and current issues the country is facing. Get beyond the stereotypes. Get a handle on the real nature of the country. Countries and cultures evolve, so make sure you are current in  your thinking in order to make the most of your visit.

I would love to hear your experience. Do share.



About Shirley Williams

I have a passion to create, resolve and build.I have had a pretty dynamic career that some say has led to a solid reputation as a visionary, result-driven and passionate leader. I say, simplify the complexity, work WITH people and you have a formula that not only deliver results but forms bonds that will stand the test of time. I have led numerous initiatives with a geographical scope that has included Canada, US, The South Americas,Europe and Australia. My professional career spans Biotechnology, Brand & Generic Pharmaceuticals, IBM Business Consulting Services, Healthcare, Retail, Electronics, more recently Mining and now Social Media. I am a biochemist and have a Master of Scence degree in endocrine pharmacology. I am a certified practitioner and professional in Change Management (Prosci), Project Management (PMP/PMI) and Social Media (OMCP, Online Marketing Certified Professional). So that makes my full title to be: Shirley Williams, MSc. PMP. CMC. OCMP. Having spent many years in the LifeSciences (you can check my career profile on Linkedin ) I have now directed my attention to bridging strategy and goals with social media. Loving it! In fact I am passionate about it. I have also produced and currently host my own internet radio show. My programs to-date have included Rise Of The Patient and Give Startups A Chance. I consider myself as an Experience Enabler. I facilitate and advocate for improved experience from the consumer perspective. Thank you for stopping by to check me out!

2 Responses to “Understanding The Demographics Beyond The Stereotypes”

  1. Shirley,
    Thanks for sharing your background and experience to slow down our tendency to rush to judgement regarding other people, places, and things. My travels to places as diverse as Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and the San Blas Islands has expanded my understanding, and I look forward to expanding that understanding. Hopefully those who receive your message will be more inclined to look beneath and beyond what they think they already know. When one “knows everything,” their learning stops.

    • Henry,
      Thank you for joining the conversation. Going beneath the surface is a great practice and should be applied to many things including the topic of this post. Great advice.
      I often say and believe, the more I learn, the less I know. Tongue in cheek…. But there is truth in the core of that sentence. LOL!

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