HR Management & Compliance, Talent

4 Signs Your Workplace Is Not Diverse

Research reveals that diverse workplaces experience many benefits. More inclusive and diverse workplaces:


OgnjenO / iStock / Getty Images Plus

  • Have more engaged employees who are retained longer
  • Produce faster, more creative, and higher-performing teams
  • Build better relationships with their partners and customers

Additionally, research indicates that more ethnically diverse and gender-diverse workplaces outperform their competitors.
If you’re not sure whether your workplace is diverse right now, here are four telltale signs that it’s not.

1. Everyone Looks the Same

If most individuals at your organization are the same ethnicity, race, gender, etc., then you don’t have a lot of diversity across your organization. And this is especially problematic when you only have individuals from one ethnicity, race, or gender in positions of power and leadership across your organization.
True diversity in any organization always starts at the top. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be able to recruit more diverse and high-quality talent when you have leaders at your organization who look like them, as well.

2. Cliques Exist

Employees will form cliques in organizations that aren’t diverse as if they’re in high school all over again, and inclusive behavior will not exist. Transparent communications are also nonexistent, and office gossip runs rampant.
Usually the more popular employees are typically favored by management in nondiverse workplaces and have a role in determining who else lands the better projects, schedules, etc.
So, cliques will form around those employees because they have some form of influence, while everyone else who doesn’t follow their lead or do what they ask is excluded or mocked, especially newer employees or employees who don’t like to participate in office politics.

3. Victims of Harassment Are Shamed or Silenced

In nondiverse and noninclusive workplaces, those employees who don’t laugh at defamatory jokes—or feel as if they’re being unfairly treated in some way—are never seriously regarded and are mocked and looked down upon. So, you won’t see harassment policies and procedures being followed or taken seriously.
In addition, victims of harassment who file reports are often shamed and silenced and ostracized from their coworkers as if they were the individuals who did something wrong. So, if you see many workers at an organization who keep to themselves and never interact with others, especially if they’re afraid to speak up during meetings and routine office interactions, then it’s most likely a nondiverse workplace.

4. Everyone Thinks the Same

Nondiverse workplaces actively quell and reprimand people who question the status quo or bring up new ideas. Often, employees or managers will say things like “We’ve been doing it this way for 50 years” or “We don’t do things like that here.”
And when employees aren’t encouraged to think differently or bring up new ideas, innovation becomes stifled and almost nonexistent. So, you’ll also see a lot of nondiverse and noninclusive workplaces remain stagnant and unable to innovate new products or services as fast as some of their competitors.
If you’ve read the telltale signs mentioned here and need to work on developing a more diverse workplace today, you can start by renovating your work spaces, too—read “3 Ways to Inspire a More Inclusive Work Space.”