What is it like to be a minority within the majority culture? Here are some diversity-related scenarios that you, as a manager, might tackle. Diversity is a very touchy subject, so I hope our discussions will dig deep and “go there” so we can truly learn from each other.
How would you respond to these challenges? What might be the repercussions?
- A number of employees from the former Soviet Union speak Russian together when they’re in the workplace – they sit together on break and at lunch and do not befriend “Americans.” Sometimes, they ask each other for work-related advice? Does it make you uncomfortable? Should you try to make them change their behavior? Why or why not? How?
- A non-Christian employee doesn’t want to participate in the festive daytime Christmas party, but goes reluctantly. Everybody is there and having fun. She tries to stay in the background, but is ushered over to a very merry Santa who insists on giving her a present. She leaves immediately, upset. Is she being unreasonable? Explain. How much should religion be accommodated in the workplace (this is a huge question, so just touch on it).
- What subcultures are you part of (race, religion, gender, Northerner, Southerner, it could be anything….)? Have you ever felt uncomfortable at work because of your membership within a sub-culture? Were you accommodated appropriately?
What would be the best way or combination of ways to educate co-workers about the new business your (imaginary) company just acquired?
Oral media, written media, visual media and/or electronic media? Please give examples.
♦ We will be using your imaginary company in future discussions. ♦
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