As part of her graduate program, Heather is in a class called Managing Organizational Diversity. In it, she and her classmates are working to understand who they are, their implicit biases, and the kinds of relationships they’ve created in their own lives as well as exploring how companies can successfully overcome bias and bring diversity, inclusion, and equity into their culture.

We’re not one-dimensional. 
We’re all complex beings  with multiple layers
that make up who we are.

Today, we’d like to share with you a simple, but powerful, exercise to get you thinking about who you are and how you define yourself in your life and work. 
We’d encourage you to spend a few minutes on this exercise initially, then over the next week, come back to it a few times and see if there’s anything you would add as you go about living your life.
Make a list of 20 or more one-word descriptions or short phrases that best describe you. A good way to start this exercise is to write, “I am…,” followed by a word or phrase that could be used to identify you.
As you do this exercise, consider the following areas (this is by no means an exhaustive list, but something to get you started):

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Family roles
  • Work roles
  • Education
  • Socio-economic status
  • Physical characteristics/abilities
  • Political affiliation
  • Other ideologies
  • Religious affiliations
  • Description of character
  • Personal style
  • Interpersonal style
  • Ways you describe yourself to others

This week, we want you to get a glimpse at the complexity of one life – yours. Next week, we’re going to talk about how these characteristics of your identity intersect to create even greater complexity.
Let us know who you are!

In the video below, Stephanie and Heather talk about how each of us is made up of so many layers and an exercise to help you define those areas.