Dr Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey: Representation, Leadership & Employee Resource Groups

Today, I want to talk about the representation of minority groups within the workplace. This is a key concern for organisations that are trying to become more inclusive but it’s become a hot topic because of the release of the Black Panther movie, which draws attention to how black people are represented in the media as a whole.

In todays show I discuss several things including:

  • Why representation is such a hot topic
  • The two primary approaches organisations take when trying to improve the representation of minority groups
  • The reason why representation as a whole is so important to employee resource groups and much much more

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

The Reason why Minority Representation is such a hot topic

I explain how the release of the movie Black Panther has created a lot of attention about how minority groups are represented in the media and in the workplace: 

“Black Panther is a talked about movie for several reasons beyond the scope of the show, I’m not going to be reviewing the movie in this show but what I do want to touch on is the issue of representation and why the hype around the movie is relevant for organisations” 

The Unexplored Motivations for Improving Representation

I explain how the motivation for increasing representation in organisations is rarely explored:

“The importance of role models is so well established that most people will agree with this well supported argument. I think what gets less attention is the motivation or the approach for increasing representation and this is important because it’s increasingly accepted that organisations are obliged to provide role models and aspirational figures for underrepresented employees. Not enough people talk about if this is appropriate or why it is happening.”

Representation as a Concern of Employee Resource Groups

I explain why identity management is a primary concern of employee resource groups:

“One of the key concerns of an employee resource groups whose members are underrepresented within the organisation is how members of that group are perceived within the workplace.”



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

My PhD Thesis

Black Panther Wikipedia

Dr Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey: Identity Work & Employee Resource Groups

Melanie Richards: How a Happy Coincidence helped the 30 Per Cent Club to change the Diversity Conversation in the UK

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

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