Ask the White Guy: Do You Need to Know the Orientation of Your Coworkers?

In response to a comment from a reader regarding diversity "propaganda," the White Guy drives home the point of the importance of diversity training and LGBT-friendly workplaces.

Luke Visconti's Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


It's not the role of Pfizer to promote LGBT propaganda. All employees are equal and I have not to know about colleagues' sexual orientation.


Note to readers: This is why diversity training must be mandatory. We know the orientation of most of our coworkers; we learn about their spouses, their children and their families. A workplace would be a very cold and sterile one if you didn't have that kind of interaction. However, if the workplace isn't LGBT-friendly, your LGBT coworkers don't have the freedom the heterosexual folks have. Aside from the punishment of hiding yourself for the majority of your waking hours, it is almost impossible for a person to be promoted very far without having a comfort level with their superiors. Promotions, especially to senior management, require a great deal of mutual trust—something that is impossible to develop if you're forced to hide such a fundamental part of who you are. (Read more about diversity training on

Please think about this e-mail. Can you imagine the workplace atmosphere surrounding this person? If you're tempted to agree, put a group that's near and dear to you in place of LGBT. For example, try this on for size: "It's not the role of Pfizer to promote Black propaganda. All employees are equal and I have not to know about a colleagues' cultural background." Or "It's not the role of Pfizer to promote woman propaganda. All employees are equal and I have not to know about colleagues' gender."

Also, let's not make an issue of the company at hand in this article and response. I recently got a death threat from a guy using the e-mail from the bank he works at. There are creeps working at every company. Training helps them tuck in their creepiness while at work.

Vickers "Vic" Cunningham, a former Dallas judge who's running in the Republican primary runoff election for Dallas county commissioner on Tuesday, decided to provide his children a monetary incentive to condone homophobia and racism. Cunningham set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white, straight Christian.

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Two Different Cups of Joe: How The Coffee Bean and Starbucks Handled Racism

In an age of increasing racial confrontations, a business must have zero tolerance for discrimination.

In the Trump era, there has been a proliferation of Islamophobic and racist incidents across the country. When discrimination occurs at a place of business, it's apparent if the company's leadership and workforce support diversity and inclusion. A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café barista refused to serve a racist customer; meanwhile, a white manager at a Starbucks called the police on two Black men for no reason.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Executives from Nielsen, New York Life, TIAA and Toyota Motor North America talk about communicating their commitment to D&I management and backing it up with actions that get results.

At the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 event, more than 400 people were in attendance during the day to hear best practices on effectively managing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc


  • Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer, Nielsen
  • Kathleen Navarro, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life
  • Steve Larson, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion, TIAA
  • Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America

Janelle Monáe Opens Up About 'Being a Queer Black Woman in America'

"I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf***er," the singer said.


In an interview with Rolling Stone, Janelle Monáe came out as pansexual — and she's owning her identity.

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We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?


Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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