Skill Check: Review Your Answers


Skill Check Answer 1:

The answer is False. Actually, there are several great reasons why you may want to or need to identify yourself to your future employer as a valued employee who is also a member of a diverse group. The number one reason is to protect yourself with your legal rights in the situation where you may need special accommodations to get or keep a job. For example, if you are physically-challenged and in a wheelchair, you may need to be sure there are ramps, an elevator, handicap-accessible desks that can be adjusted, bathrooms that accommodate your needs, wide enough hallways and space in lunchrooms/conference rooms, etc. You may also have trouble performing certain duties that your employer needs to know about beforehand so that he/she can attempt to make the best accommodations for you.

There are also other practical reasons, such as seeking insurance for your partner, or, say, for societal reasons, such as serving as a person who can help desensitize co-workers to any stigmas or political challenges.


Skill Check Answer 2:

“Fear” is the main reason that people choose not to disclose their identities to their employers while interviewing for a job. Typically, people fear harassment (either physical or emotional); the effect that disclosure may have on hiring, personnel, and advancement; general alienation, isolation, and rejection; being perceived as “different than the majority” of other employees, or, categorized as the “same as everyone else in their culture;” and, finally, they fear that their privacy may be invaded.


Skill Check Answer 3:

You may have included some of the following tips in your answer. Here is the complete list of tips to use when you are searching for a company or grad school program that is culturally-sensitive:

  • Search for employee photographs, they can give a good indication of not only of a company’s diversity, but also of its promotion practices.
  • Employ the “six degrees of separation” strategy. See if you know someone who knows someone who works for the company in question. Get the inside scoop on company politics.
  • Do your homework; look carefully over the company’s literature. Check organization’s mission and history as well as their values. Do they resonate with yours?
  • If you are very concerned, expand your research to include any possible EEO (Equal Employment Opportunities) lawsuits pending against the company. You may search a legal database such as Lexis or Westlaw.
  • Learn about their non-discrimination policy (e.g., move-in vs. move-up policy).
  • Become aware of the company-wide education policies to raise awareness of diversity issues.
  • Research professional development and training opportunities.
  • Become acquainted with equitable benefits programming and pay equity.
  • Gain knowledge of employee resources and the existence of support or mentoring groups.
  • Study how much demonstration or public support to diversity issues the company has in the community.
  • Find out if the company fosters a safe work environment.
  • Gain a sense of how rigid the institution may be towards the balance of family and work.