Awareness

9 Things to NEVER Say to Veterans

Originally published on July 7, 2016. Joining the Army after college was a no-brainer for military veteran Ryan Kules. The Arizona native always knew he wanted to serve his country, and in 2002, he got his chance. In February 2005, he was deployed to Iraq. Nine months later, Kules wound…

10 Things NEVER to Say to a Black Coworker

“Fried chicken, anyone” “You speak really well.” “Is that your real hair” You’d think the taboo subjects and phrases would be clearly outlined and understood by all when it comes to what is and is not acceptable to say to a Black colleague. But that’s far from the case. Here…

3 Things NEVER to Say to Older Coworkers

I’ll be the first to admit: I’m not always the most sensitive when it comes to older colleagues. I’ve been known to deem certain terms archaic or walk up to the COO of the company and ask “How’s it hanging” I even told one of my coworkers I was too…

9 Things NEVER to Say to White Colleagues

Frank McCloskey’s wife of 31 years, Debbie, talked about her husband with her new coworkers, telling them about his job as vice president of diversity for Georgia Power. During lunch one day, Debbie, who is white, had just finished telling a story about Frank’s diversity efforts when a colleague of…

3 Things NEVER to Say to a Foreign-Born Colleague

Since 1 in 7 employees in the United States is foreign born, according to the Congressional Budget Office, you’re likely to work with someone whose origins are from another country (if you aren’t already). But that healthy workplace relationship can quickly turn sour because of a seemingly innocent remark or…

4 Things NEVER to Say to Someone Who Just Lost a Job

An estimated 9.4 percent of the working population are unemployed, many of whom are victims of the current recession. Whether it’s because of a corporate restructuring or an outright firing, being let go is always a psychological blow. Click here to read DiversityInc’s “Things Not to Say” series. But for…

Things NEVER to Say to Asian Coworkers

Recently, Texas lawmaker Betty Brown suggested during a voter-identification hearing that it might be wise for Chinese Americans to “Americanize” their names for the sake of people who don’t speak Chinese. Brown’s comment, which landed her in the DiversityInc Hall of Shame, is just one of several rude phrases people…

Things NEVER to Say to Young Coworkers

Are office comments sometimes perceived as patronizing Maybe the issue is age-related. No matter how unintentional, young coworkers may interpret some comments as condescending. Here are several things you should never say to young coworkers. Click here to read “Things NOT to Say to LGBT Coworkers.” “You sound just like…

10 Things NEVER to Say to Latino Executives

It’s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. After trying to fit in a mostly white corporate culture in the 1980s, Jim Huerta’s boss challenged him about whether he was “being Latino enough.” Huerta spent the first 12 years of his corporate life working in the…

Things NEVER to Say to Women Executives

Sometimes, a term of endearment can be anything but endearing. “I had this manager who … started referring to me as ‘honey,’” recalls May Snowden, former chief diversity officer for both Starbucks and Eastman Kodak Co. (one of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies), who is now president and CEO of Snowden…