Talking About Diversity at Work

Today’s world is much more aware of social issues and how they affect our world as a whole. With this heightened awareness, we have noticed that our clients are more hesitant to talk about these very sensitive topics and issues. But each day, we bring who we are, our experiences, and how we look at the world to work with us every day.

Whether you’re working in a brick-and-mortar store, in an office, or remotely, it’s important to know how to have sensitive conversations, as well as make everyone involved feel safe and comfortable in their work environment. In one of our previous podcasts, we discuss how employers and managers can promote the importance of diversity awareness in a way that feels safe to everyone in the organization.

Using the Diversity Puzzle as a Foundation for Conversations

Here at ProKnowledge, we offer a program called “The Diversity Puzzle.” With this program, we ask attendees to picture a puzzle. We picture diversity as everyone comes to work with their diversity puzzle every day. We know that there are six pieces, which we call external diversity. These 6 pieces are age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, and physical characteristics and physical abilities. These six pieces make the core of our puzzle — these are the things you can see about a person.

After you are born and you go through life, you go through different experiences and encounters, and you build up these pieces to make you who you are. Everything about you, such as your upbringing, political preferences, likes and dislikes, etc. make up your diversity.

How does this relate to the workplace? It’s important to practice diversity and talk about it. Our Diversity Puzzle program helps to connect your employees and show what they share. This helps them see what makes each person diverse and what connects them together. Do they play sports? What is their national origin? Did they grow up with pets? Do they share the same physical characteristics?

The things you can’t see in a person are what really connects us all. We tend to group ourselves and decide what we know about people, and the Diversity Puzzle is a great way to talk about diversity with their employees. With this program, we talk about both internal and external diversity.

So, once you have this conversation and create this safe work environment, what are the next steps for you and your team? Now it’s time to talk about inclusion. Every day when we come to work, we bring the pieces of our diversity puzzle. Your workplace may respect your diversity, but do you work for a company that values and recognizes those pieces?

Diversity is about more than just race. It’s about what your organization does in terms of inclusion. As an organization, it’s important to start small when it comes to diversity – in both philosophy and strategy.

Talking about diversity in the workplace isn’t always easy. That’s why the team at ProKnowledge offers a special program to help bring up these sensitive topics so you and your team can all feel safe and comfortable while having these conversations. Click here to hear more about talking about diversity in the workplace and the Diversity Puzzle.