Outlining Diversity Competencies for Managers

By February 2, 2016 No Comments

by Simma Lieberman and Kate Berardo
Simma Lieberman Associates

The New Year also is a good time to do a progress check on your Diversity Initiative and to set-up your goals for developing higher levels of diversity competence.

We have provided the following checklist below to monitor your diversity progress and help you create a plan of action for 2004.

This exercise has been adapted from the recently released, Putting Diversity to Work. (Crisp/Thomson: 2003) For best results, print out this newsletter, check-off those statement that you agree with, and highlight the statements that you feel weak in. These are the areas that you should focus on to build your diversity competence.


How able do you feel in each area? Check (x) the statements that you agree with.

Personal Qualities

¨ I can recognize my own biases and assumptions about others.

¨ I recognize there is more than one way to lead or be successful, and  I can include different styles and cultures in decision-making, brainstorming, and feedback meetings.

¨ I know how to use what others have to offer.

¨ I can get objective information about the cultures of employees and external customers. This includes history, values, holidays, and so on.

¨ I can relate diversity to the business case and overall business strategy.

¨ I can listen objectively to complaints about harassment, inappropriate remarks, and behavior.

¨ I can describe how various markets (ethnic, gender, sexual orientation) affect our business.

¨ I am comfortable with different cultures.

¨ I know the laws related to disability, race, gender, and religion.

¨ I can hold people accountable for the quality of their work, whatever their background or culture.

¨ I am familiar with the different kinds of diversity and can speak comfortably about them with others.

Leadership Skills

¨ I can speak and present clearly to a diverse audience.

¨ I can create solid relationships with people who think and act differently from me.

¨ I know how to listen to, influence, and motivate diverse individuals and groups.

¨ I am prepared to mentor, coach, and develop the people under me, whatever their background.

¨ I can use organizational “street sense” and know where and how to get things done in the organization.

¨ I can model and encourage open communication and effective teamwork.

¨ I know how to and am willing to manage conflicts, disagreements, and claims of harassment.

Personnel Management and Performance Evaluation
¨ I am clear about the basic qualifications and competencies that are needed to fill a position.

¨ I can conduct target interviews and not allow assumptions and biases to influence my decisions-for example, hiring someone just because he is from the same culture or gender or because she is from a particular ethnic or racial background.

¨ I can apply the laws about the questions that are appropriate to ask in an interview and those that are not.

¨ I can measure an employee’s diversity competencies in an evaluation.

¨ I am comfortable in giving evaluations based on performance.

¨ I can document critical diversity incidents.

¨ I am able to find out what motivates different kinds of people to do their best work and what hinders them.

¨ I know how to study best practices of other organizations and transfer them to my own group.

¨ I know how to develop a large candidate pool for hiring and promotions.

¨ I can create effective measurements of diversity success in hiring, retention, and managing complaints.

¨ I know how to hire a good diversity consultant.