Friday, February 23, 2018

Diversity in the Workplace

Being a minority student in a predominantly white university can be very overwhelming at first, especially coming in as a first-year student. When it comes to being a minority student assistant in an office at the same predominantly white university, it is 10 times more overwhelming and stressful. It is a constant reminder that you should do your best, stay on track, and work hard, because as a minority in the workplace you feel you must prove yourself daily. 

As a minority in the workplace, I can confidently say there are some people that will work with you and never judge your capabilities due to the color of your skin. But, there are others that will never truly get past it, not because they are racist but because of the stigma that comes along with employees of color.

How can you rise above the stereotypes?
1. Arrive to work on time for every shift; yes, all employees, students or not, are required to be on time to work but when it comes to the minority, punctuality is strictly accounted for. (Don't be on "CP Time").
2. Look your best; you are working in a professional environment. Be ready for work, and to represent your office well; you may be judged more harshly. 
3. Remember that you are unique and that no two people ever have the same idea (just like no two snowflakes are the same). Your ideas are extremely important and extraordinary.
4. Don't be afraid to speak up and speak out about things that you see being done, whether it be work-related or not. Your voice is a vital part of the team.
5. Use your on-campus resources for extra support on how to improve your presence at work.
6. You should never feel uncomfortable at work; your colleagues, supervisors, and HR are your friends and are always willing to hear you.

Hofstra wants all students to feel welcome and comfortable at all times, so take your experiences here with you and do not be afraid to come forward, either now or in your future positions, if you do not feel welcome in the workplace. If we at the Career Center can help you through this, let us know.

Hadiya Robinson
Undergraduate Assistant, External Relations

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