Employees unable to be their authentic self less likely to express their perspective

Published: 27 September 2023

While some progress has been made in addressing discrimination in the workplace, many still feel the need to change themselves to conform to workplace cultural norms. Some, for example, may modify their speech or straighten their hair in order to fit in. This can come at a cost, writes Laura Morgan Roberts, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, in the Harvard Business Review. To support her case, Morgan Roberts cites the research of McGill Desautels’ Professor Patricia Faison Hewlin.

Hewlin explains that this type of inauthenticity can cause problems for organizations because employees who don’t believe they are valued for their true self are less likely to express dissenting views that could help identify problems in the workplace. Ensuring people can be their authentic self is key to the success of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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