Making a distincion between culure and values

I’ve been thinking about workplace diversity recently and about collegiality and exactly what that means. I like the distinction this blog post draws between workplace culture and workplace values.

Lauren Bacon writes:

One of the real challenges of diversifying your team is that – at the risk of stating the obvious – your workplace is going to feel different, because it will include more difference. And that’s not always a comfortable feeling.

I see small companies struggle with this all the time. For a small team, every new hire risks being disruptive, and if you branch out from your demographic norms, whatever those are (age-wise, ethnicity-wise, gender-wise, ability-wise, and so on), that can feel higher risk.

When we feel uncomfortable with a prospective new hire, it can be easy to fall back on “culture fit” as an excuse for sticking with same-same demographics. And I’m not talking here about overt bigotry – I’m talking about its subtler cousin, cognitive bias. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wondering whether someone who doesn’t fit the usual profile is going to fit in, be it because they’re an immigrant with an accent, significantly older or younger than the rest of the team, a woman of colour, seemingly oblivious to your sense of humour, or otherwise different from the other folks on your team.

The key distinction here is between culture and values. You don’t need people to fit your culture – but you do need them to reflect your values.

Read the rest of “Diversity Messes wit Your Culture and That’s a Good Thing” here.

Thanks DF.

Micro-Inequities: 40 Year Later

There’s a good discussion of micro-inequities over at Psychology Today, cross-posted on NewAPPS. The post starts with the history of the concept, then moves on to adducing examples of micro-inequities (drawn from What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?), and to drawing connections with implicit bias research. It’s worth the read.

Here’s a taste:

Rowe noted that micro-inequities often had serious cumulative, harmful effects, resulting in hostile work environments and continued minority discrimination in public and private workplaces and organizations. What makes micro-inequities particularly problematic is that they consist in micro-messages that are hard to recognize for victims, bystanders and perpetrators alike. When victims of micro-inequities do recognize the micro-messages, Rowe argues, it is exceedingly hard to explain to others why these small behaviors can be a huge problem.

Thanks, S!