Diversity As a Reflection of Your Identity Essay

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Dimensions of Identity at Work




There are numerous dimensions that reflect one's identity, and which reflect the identity of the author of this document. These dimensions encompass both the primary and the secondary realms of factors that pertain to diversity. These two realms are unequivocally "important to distinguish" (Loden and Rosener, 1991, p. 18) One can actually argue that many of the primary factors supersede the secondary ones in numerous cases -- or perhaps augment them so much that they render the latter almost subservient to the former. As such, the author believes that the five dimensions that are best reflective of herself are the primary ones. These dimensions greatly affect my perceptions and my performance at work, principally by providing the foundation through which I view most facets of life.



Of the multiple dimensions that encompass the primary dimensions of diversity, it seems as though age is certainly the most salient. Age is certainly the most eminent factor to affect the perceptions and work performers of this author. Specifically, I am in my mid-20's. Therefore, I am relatively young, although not as youthful as some of my adolescent or even pre-adolescent counterparts. However, there are several germane facets of my age involving particular socio-cultural nuances that affect my perception of both work and life in general. This factor is one of the increasingly many that have produced situations in which diversity is becoming more popular, even "favorite" in the workplace (Loden and Rosener, 1991, p. 17). My generation is one of the ones that has grown up with an integral relationship with -- and possible dependency upon -- technology. Granted, technology's influence on my generation is not as profound as children who were born, say, from the last decade on up through the current one. Still, technology is widely employed by my generation and one of the primary means of communicating with people through avenues such as social media, mobile devices, and the internet.



I believe that the greatest way that my generation's relationship with technology affects my perceptions is in our beliefs about what can be done and when. The temporal element of this statement is particular truthful. There is a feeling of instant gratification that technology produces upon its users. Unfortunately, I realize that I have a short attention span, particularly compared to those of my parents who are significantly older than me. Patience is not one of my better qualities. Although I try to utilize this facet of my identity in a positive way (to look for more rapid solutions, for instance), I do not like waiting. Nonetheless, I have learned that the quickest way is not always necessarily the best way, and am trying to work on this facet of my identity.



Gender is another fairly prominent part of my identity that has a definite influence on what I perceive and on how I perform at work. I am a woman. Actually, it has always struck me that this part of my identity has mattered more to others than it has mattered to me. For instance, when I am traveling men frequently try to carry my luggage, or put it in the overhead bin of the airplane.

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The general perception that fuels such actions is that women are the proverbial weaker sex. I truly do not mind when men attempt to assert themselves for me because of my gender (and because of theirs, frankly). On the other hand, I realize I am quite capable of doing most things almost any other person is able to do, male or female.



Nevertheless, my gender definitely influences my behavior at work. I am privileged to be able to work around a number of strong, competent, and in some instances, brilliant women. However, society is still male dominated and this perception naturally extends itself to the workplace. There are certain instances at work where I do not speak up as quickly as I could, or even probably would, if I was a man. In this respect I do feel some degree of pressure to perform, and to perform well, since I am a woman. I sometimes have the perception that I need to prove myself, especially when I am in situations in which there are few woman and mostly men. Quite possibly this perception is one that is only in my mind, but I want male employees to value my contributions and to view me as an equal. What is particularly interesting about this subject is the fact that some of my female friends have actually shared a similar sentiment with me. This includes women who I have worked with and friends who are telling me about their experiences in their respective jobs. I have seen some women in situations where they have attempted to contribute to a group discussion, only to have their input marginalized. I have never wanted such a thing to happen to me. Fortunately, at this point it has not. But it is because I do not want such an experience to happen to me that I am probably more reserved at work than other -- mostly male -- employees are. It seems to me that there are both positives and negatives associated with this stance of mine.



Race is another primary dimension of diversity that I believe affects my perceptions and my performance at work. Again, I tend to posit the fact that my race -- I am White -- more affects other people's opinions about me and my identity than it does my own. However, I have taken additional classes related to notion of socio-economic status and privilege. I realize that as a part of the dominant race in this country, I have received a certain degree of privilege that others who are not part of my race may not have experienced. I tend to consider this form of privilege I terms of what John Keats referred to as negative capability. For instance, I have never been followed around in a retail store. When most people look at me, they assume that I am harmless. They do not think that I am a thief or that I am looking to start trouble. Some people have told me that I give the appearance of being trustworthy. I think part of that has to do with my….....

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References


Mor Barak, M. (2015). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage

Norman-Major, K.A., & Gooden, S.T. (2012). Cultural competency for public administrators. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe

Rice, M.F. (2010). Diversity and public administration (2nd Ed). Armonk: M.E. Sharpe Loden, M. Rosener, J. (1991). Dimensions of diversity. Workforce America. 1(1), 17-35.

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