In 1990, Marilyn Loden and Judy Rosener developed a framework for thinking about the different dimensions of diversity within individuals and institutions. Depicted as concentric circles, this “Diversity Wheel” can be used in many different ways to encourage thinking about values, beliefs, and dimensions of identity for people and organizations.
Adapted from “Workforce America! Managing Employee Diversity as a Vital Resource,” McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 1990, we’ve included the wheel here as a graphic and as a pdf for your use. The following outline possible ways to use the Diversity Wheel with staff to encourage dialogue and new perspective taking.
After spending time looking at the wheel, invite participants to write down 5 things that describe who they are—the top five things they think of when they think to describe themselves. (Ideally, you’ve passed out post-it notes and can encourage staff to write one characteristic on each of 5 post-it notes. Also, the descriptions don’t have to line up with the categories on the wheel, but it can be helpful to think of them that way.) Invite participants to locate their characteristics on the Diversity Wheel and then talk with one or two other people about how they identified themselves and what they noticed when they tried to put their characteristics into the areas of the wheel.
Download the Activity | Dimensions of Diversity Diagram