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Olympic Games: example of an inclusive country? - El Mercurio

Adapsys Partner (former CLA Consulting)

On October 20, 2023, the country witnessed an international event that moved us all: the Pan American Games. Despite some technical details, they were successfully held and brought us much joy. In the same sporting context, the Olympic torch arrived in France on May 8, and several Chileans have already qualified to represent us in Paris. Among our athletes are immigrant Chileans who will don the jersey and compete for Chile as if it were their home country. It is this representation that I would like to focus on, and how they exemplify a country progressing in inclusion.

According to information published by the INE in 2021, 1.625.074 foreigners reside in Chile, representing 8,3% of the population. Does this figure make us a more diverse country? Compared to the United States, where the foreign population is 13,6%, and France, where it reaches 12,6%, the answer is no. We still have a significant gap. 

Is it enough that there is diversity for us to be a diverse country and that this diversity can add its value? This, in essence, is the difference between diversity and inclusion: diversity is that immigrants “exist”; Inclusion is the option of making them a real part of social coexistence.

There is a lot of data that tells us about the value of diversity at the organizational level, among them we could mention that income from innovations in inclusive companies increases by 45% (BCG: 2018), profitability can be eight times higher (Deloitte: 2018), and talent retention reaches 76% (Glassdoor: 2020). From an economic point of view, immigrants have contributed significantly in Chile between 2017 and 2023, with increases of 1,7 percentage points in consumption growth and 0,8 points in GDP, according to a World Bank report carried out by qualification Can migration benefit Chile?: challenges and opportunities? (2023)

We saw them in the Pan American Games and now - in the Olympic Games - we will once again have the honor of having Chileans from different origins competing for our country. Among them we can name Zhiying Zeng, a 58-year-old Chilean table tennis player of Chinese origin, who is the oldest athlete to represent us. We can also mention Néstor Almanza, of Cuban origin who - at only 21 years old - is so far the youngest Chilean qualified for the next Olympic Games.

In both examples we can see the value of their talents regardless of origin or age. How much of this can our organizations learn? And our country? The value that they give us - at the level of sport - is incalculable in the short and long term. A “court” where inclusion, non-discrimination and respect for talent are embraced.