Thursday, September 21, 2017

Looking Beneath the Surface: How It Feels to “Look Like” Diversity - HUFFINGTONPOST

by Ivo Lucas
Originally published: September 19, 2017

People ask me about diversity a lot. I think it’s because they see me and assume that as an Asian-American woman, I look like what diversity really means. But no one person “looks like” diversity. Yes, I look different from many of the other people around me, but to think about it at the surface level misses the point of what diversity really means to everyone in the workplace.

I remember one interview, when a hiring manager came out calling my name, only to be completely startled when he saw me. “Oh, my gosh, you’re a woman,” he said. “I was expecting a 280-pound Russian male.” He had made assumptions based on my name and had trouble letting go of them. In our interview he talked a blue streak about how much he valued diversity, barely letting me say a word, and then offered me the job on the spot. I didn’t take it, because I could tell he wasn’t ready to look beneath the surface and think about how I personally would fit into his team structure and the whole organization.