Drum Roll Please…………. This is a BONUS post to the Blog Series I just wrapped. It is from someone I really admire.  Paul Smith is a HR Professional from Philadelphia, PA.  Paul messaged me about submitting a guest post about a topic that is so important to HR and Paul. I was honored to be asked, and I was thrilled to include it.   He has 10+ years of experience. He is a music enthusiast, bicycle advocate, and host of the HR blog  “Welcome to the Occupation”.  Paul can be contacted through: http://twitter.com/pasmuz AND or http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulsmithphr I met Paul first at an HR event in DC, and again at HREvolution in Chicago, IL.  It was a pleasure to meet such a kind and generous person. I look forward to a continued friendship.

Without further adieu. Here is the post:


The use of the word diversity has been a great concept.  Many people, over the course of many years, have taken exception to those who are of a different gender, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, age, etc. To curtail these exceptions, the workplace has been provided with legal guidelines and restrictions through various civil rights legislation and concepts such as affirmative action.  Despite the legal ramifications, people don’t change their minds overnight about their prejudices .  Change comes from within.  But to swallow that change, requires a less than bitter pill.  Thus along comes the word diversity.

Diversity is a word that means different.  Everyone is different.  No two people are alike.  And everyone believes that.  Or at least I believe that everyone wants to believe that. So what better way to tackle prejudice than to appeal to the population’s sense for personal autonomy and uniqueness?

Yet let’s not break out the lawn chairs and watch the parade march through town quite so quick.  There is still a great deal of prejudice in the workplace and a great deal of work to be done to equalize the perceived differences. If you are in HR, you know it’s a problem.  If you’re new to HR, or if you’ve been doing this for a while and you need to improve the state of diversity in your workplace, consider this:

Appoint an EEO officer in your HR office

Make sure your policy and procedures cover every aspect of protected classes, including genetic information.  Go to the Department of Labor’s website.

Train your managers and remind them, when they have choices to make to be sure those choices are based only on job related criteria.

Remember even though everyone is different, they still deserve equal treatment, even the people who are exhibiting traits of prejudice.

Let’s get the comments started… What are YOUR thoughts on Diversity? And how does it affect your personal/professional world?


7 responses to “DIVERSITY-HR

  1. Good post, raises some interesting concepts. Need to see how I can get them implemented with the people I work with.

  2. Thanks John! It is such an important topic, Let’s keep the conversation going. Appreciate your readership!

  3. Sorry Shenee for commenting so late in the day. Work has been crazyville. I’m thinking of creating an app called that. With the app, you can follow me around me all day, watching how different (diverse) every minute is. Viewers can rate how different it really is as I crawl to the end of the day. I don’t how you win the game, but I’ll think of something. Maybe the prize to give is more caffeine.
    Anyway, I digress.
    Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that this idea worked out for you. And that it gets the dialogue going.

  4. Paul-Thanks so much for contributing. It was great meeting you and I look forward to more conversations.. Crazyville… There is an App for that I am sure.. LOL. You make me laugh..
    Thanks again, and you are welcom to post on my blog anytime!

  5. I live in a very diverse area (just outside of DC) and the organization where I work is naturally very diverse, too. Years ago we had a well-intended diversity training facilitated by a very carefully selected and gifted trainer, but which–how can I say this–went south so spectactularly that Jerry Springer would have nodded his head in approval . Anyone remembering that day runs screaming from the room if the words “diversity training” are mentioned. In our office, we now select different words to invoke a different emotional response. We are a very international staff and we values differences of all kinds, we strive for inclusion and cultural awareness. Still, it is not always easy, since we have more than 40 worksites and some of our cultural differences run pretty deep.

    Thanks for the post, Paul and Shennee.

  6. Krista-
    Thanks for reading and your comments. Diversity is an important topic, and how companies approach and implement programs Vary greatly. Hope to keep the conversation going.

  7. @Krista- Thanks for your comments and reading.

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