November 28 – MOS
Guest Speaker – Organizational Diversity
What is diversity?
Diversity is NOT:
– Political correctness: useful because it allows people to realize the impact of
their words. Problem: it can make people feel worried or scared to ask
questions: too much can make people think that they can't say anything/ask
– Tolerance: enduring another person. Not diversity because it does not
appreciate and accept. Power imbalance – marginalized group (tolerated
group) feels bad because they do not feel appreciated of who they are
– Statistics: many companies like to state how many people of certain
demographics are in their organization. Stats are good to show different
groups, but do not show that these different groups necessarily get along
with each other.
A Spectrum between hate and unconditional diversity (goal that will never really
– b/w ideal and unideal
Group vs. Individual Identity
– Individual identity is who we think we are based on our past experiences
– If both are put on spectrum of diversity (b/w hate and unconditional
– eg. When with group, less accepting vs. More accepting in the individual
– eg. less accepting of people who are different due to less patience while
studying for an exam
– Acceptance of other groups depends of context.
Diversity includes race, managing time, creed, communication, age, sexual and
– not just categories, but how we work through these on a daily basis.
Diversity is about
1. Learning about and understanding differences.
2. Accepting and respecting differences.
3. Celebrating and using differences.
What is the Impact of Diversity?
– When a team has conflict, there is a risk of it spiralling into something
Discrimination is... – unequal or differential treatment of a person or group that is not based on
individual or group performance, but is, instead, based on inappropriate
considerations (called protected grounds).
Examples of protected grounds: 16 grounds in total. eg. Rae, ancestry, record of
offences, gender identity, family status
Impact, not intent. It doesn't matter if you knew or not, because the impact
remains the same.
Harassment: a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought
reasonably to be unwelcome. 3 types: racial, sexual, personal.
vexatious – no good reason eg. Harass someone due to their sexual orientation,
you don't like their hair
Costs of Diversity/Harassment
– If someone experiences trouble because of diversity – depressed,
humiliated, reduce work performance,
– People come to work to seem they are strong, but they can get sick and
– Lost time to solve the problem – change teams, reorganize.