Is This the Most Offensively Misguided Diversity Memo You've Ever Seen?


This corporate memo really nails the disconnect between human relations and corporate culture. While whoever wrote this (and it is likely a team of people) probably had the best intentions at heart, their understanding of how to welcome diversity in the workplace is a clumsy and insulting attempt at best and completely offensive and out of touch with reality at worst, inviting employees at a law firm to get up-close-and-personal with a minority by reinforcing the stereotype that minorities and “diverse” people are somehow strange and different creatures who need to be considered as such. (And according to this memo, engaging with such coworkers is something that can be tracked and recorded on one’s timesheet.)

Here’s the memo in full:

I recognize that whoever wrote this memo is attempting to make it easier for minority (or whoever this company qualifies as “diverse”) employees to engage in office interactions and get the same kind of casual mentoring that the employees who are not minorities may receive, but how can the equality and integration that’s being pushed here happen when the memo doesn’t read “ask a coworker who’s new or who you don’t usually talk to where they plan to go from here” but immediately brings in gender, race, and sexual orientation. I know that just writing “invite a coworker to an out-of-work event” may encourage employees to invite out others who share their cultural backgrounds, but there’s got to be a better way to send the message that diversity is important without othering the employees who the company would identify as such.


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