This exercise will spur discussion concerning who is the most important person in an organization. It looks at the levels of leadership from entry to c-suite. Start by reading the following story.
Leader: Read the following, or print it and have various participants read each definition.
In the world of diversity it is important to understand three common terms: stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. Although many will use these terms interchangeably each has a very distinct meaning.
Stereotype is a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion or image according to Yahoo’s dictionary. In other words, stereotyping is a way of thinking.
Prejudice is also a judgment made but prejudice is a verb meaning to judge someone or something prematurely and irrationally. By definition prejudices are negative in nature.
To see someone wearing medical clothing with a stethoscope around their neck and jumping to the conclusion their medical professional is a judgment, but it is not a prejudice because there is no negative connotation to being in the field of medicine.
Discrimination is taking action based on prejudices are stereotyping. Most, if not all, discrimination results in unequal treatment of one or more individual regardless of the content of character of an individual.
Leader: Show this slide, containing a situation for discussion..
Slide: Click here to go to the slide. Here is what the slide says:
Joe is very hungry but as today his normal lunch hour was delayed and those he normally eats with have already returned to work. After getting his food, he takes his tray to the dining area. He avoids one table that has some older people gnawing away at the meals, walks right by another table with some administrative assistants he knew, and sat by himself, He did not enjoy his lunch because he missed his friends.
Leader: Ask this question and ask each group to develop an argument how each of the three: Stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice could be argued in this case. This might cause the groups to add some elements not in the slide. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for group discussion.
“What elements of Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are present here?”
Leader: Have a spokesperson for one group discuss stereotyping, another group discuss prejudice, and a third group discuss discrimination. Here are some potential answers that meet the requirements for each type.
Stereotyping possibility: It is possible Joe did not sit with the older people because they would use “Dad jokes”, be judgmental of a younger generation, or talk about things that would not interest him because of the age gap.
Prejudice possibility: He may have judged that he was too good or not good enough to sit with Administrative Assistants.
Discrimination possibility: If prejudice or stereotyping were involved, he practiced discrimination by sitting alone, as sitting alone is an action.
Leader: Summarize the difference as you end the session by saying:
Here is the easiest way to distinguish between the three terms: