Introduction to Understanding Diversity in the Workplace

One of the main challenges that diverse student populations face relates to identity questions, and the decision to disclose this information during their job search. Additionally, many diverse students have questions about how to identify employers who will be sensitive to their needs, and who will respond to them with cultural competency.

As you heard in this video, some employers engage a “mentoring” program to transition diverse employees into their new job. It is important that you really assess where you are in this process, and how comfortable you feel with addressing these issues in the workplace. Locating a diversity-proactive workplace may be one of your challenges as you transition into your first job, or move into a grad school program. As you begin searching for your employment or grad school choice, you will need to know what to expect and how to handle diverse challenges.

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Reflect on reasons for disclosing or not disclosing your diverse identity.
  • Market your strengths using strategies specifically designed for diverse populations.
  • Recognize diversity-consciousness (or lack of) in the workplace, and understand how to react to it.


Let’s begin our module through some self-reflection. Have you ever asked yourself: “What does “diversity” mean?” Perhaps the discussion on the next page will help you generate some thoughts on this topic.