A Beginner’s Guide To Identity Work And Why You Need To Understand It To Promote Diversity & Inclusion

There’s an interesting concept that is at the heart of why individuals both seek out and avoid employee resource groups.

Find out about identity work.

Here are some key messages from this episode:

  • Identity work, why you’re probably already doing it.
  • The burden that identity work places on members of minority groups
  • Why identity work means some that people will avoid employee resource groups and much much more.

Play the episode for more.

Here are some key takeaways from this episode:

Everyone Performs Identity Work

“Everyone does it, if you’ve got a telephone voice, if the vocabulary you use at work is different to when you’re at home. Then there’s argument to say that you’re working identity, you’re engaged in identity work” 

Minority Groups are Motivated to Engage in Identity Work

“Individuals put in a lot of effort to play down parts of their identity in the workplace. This means individuals police themselves in a way to disconfirm negative stereotypes within the workplace”

Identity Work May Mean People Avoid Employee Resource Groups

“The nature of identity work means that people who may benefit from joining an employee resource group may be motivated to avoid them if there is a perception that they are exclusive”

Here are some resources so you can go deeper: 

Professor Devon Carbado 

Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

Bicultural Experience in the Legal Profession: A Developmental Network Approach

Check out these related episodes of the show.

The Core Functions of An Employee Resource Group

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