Here is a list of diversity issues in the workplace formatted as questions leaders can ask themselves about their organizations:
- Are people from all backgrounds, perspectives, genders, ethnicities, worldviews, cultures, and educational levels treated the same way?
- Does the culture at the company promote inclusion, kindness, and empathy?
- Are there cliques that exclude certain employees or pit one group against another?
- Does the culture reward competition over collaboration instead of looking for ways to help one another?
- Do certain people have more privileges than others?
- Is there a culture that values people at the bottom as much as people at the top?
- Do we welcome dissent and a lively discussion of issues?
- Do we have a top-down, hierarchical structure that prevents all people from providing input or keeps them in boxes?
- Does our workplace reflect all kinds of diversity or is one group disproportionately represented?
- Would all our employees say that our workplace values and promotes diversity?
Most of the issues that arise in workplaces around diversity have to do with not creating a culture that truly values differences or that favors certain groups. The solution is to take an honest, dispassionate look at the organization, beginning from the top, and making the changes necessary to build a workplace that truly values diversity in theory and in practice.