Diversity and Authenticity: Why Employees May Hesitate to Open Up About Themselves

The need to be authentic in the workplace is one of the most compelling reasons that I encounter for people wanting to join employee resource groups.

Today, I’m going to be talking about the challenges of authenticity in the workplace, some of the challenges experienced by individuals and some potential solutions that you may find useful.

In todays show I discuss several things including:

  • The reason why employees want to be authentic in the workplace
  • The three types of work related social events you typically find and why members of minority groups avoid them
  • The three strategies that may help members of minority groups manage open up in these social events and much much more

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

People want to feel authentic at work

I describe my observations that people want to align their ideals and values in the workplace as well as in their personal lives:

“I often hear that employees just want to find a place and a time when they are at work where they can just feel real. We all have a yearning to be authentic and you can see why it’s important to people when they’re at work because feeling of authentic implies that we’re being true to our own ideals, our own ethics and our own values”

Minority Group Employees feel obligated to attend work related social events

I explain how members of minority groups can attend work related social events for reasons that differ to other employees:

“The issue was that members of minority groups said that they were attending out of a sense of obligation or a fear of negative career consequences”

The Use of Open Questions to create an open environment

I explain how reframing questions can be used to create an inclusive environment:

“The subtle difference is that this legitimises everyone’s choices and reduces the feeling that people may be judged on their answers”

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

Show Notes

Harvard Business Review: Diversity and Authenticity: Why Black Employees Hesitate to Open Up About Themselves

Professor Katherine W. Phillips

Dr Tracy Dumas

Professor Nancy B Rothbard

Identity Work & Employee Resource Groups

Click here to tell me the 3 things you want me to cover on this podcast

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