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Answering Tough Questions

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In your role as an ERG or Diversity council member, you are likely to be asked to explain various aspects of diversity and inclusion. Questions about diversity may be asked of you when you're in meetings, in the break room, in the cafeteria, or when you're walking down the hall. The Association's Tough Questions are sure to enhance your skills and confidence in responding to diversity and inclusion questions. This page will help prepare you to articulate meaningful answers to expected or unexpected questions.

Below is a sample question and answer...to see more, become a member.


Many white men have become angry, confused or indifferent about diversity efforts in corporate America. Don't diversity initiatives exclude white males?

Absolutely not.

White males are diverse; for example, they have varying levels of education, different religious beliefs, divergent thinking styles, etc. For diversity initiatives to be truly successful everyone in a company should be included. Successful diversity initiatives are based on inclusion, not exclusion.

When there is a sense of exclusion, this can lead to the absence of white men from the difficult and complex efforts to create and sustain inclusive work cultures. Sadly, this lack of participation leads to the creation of harmful stereotypes such as:

  • White men aren't diverse. They think, act, learn and contribute in the same way.
  • White men don't know anything about diversity. They often become totally dependent on white women and people of color for any diversity insight or learning.
  • White men can't effectively lead or contribute to the organization's ongoing diversity efforts. This attitude results in many white men being less vocal or visible proponents of diversity change efforts.

Diversity has historically been framed as an issue that affects only women and minorities. What companies need is a culture of inclusion, meaning one that includes everyone. Trying to change the workplace without involving white men makes no sense.


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