Competencies of a Multicultural Organization
(As defined by Barr and Strong, 1987)
1. Genuinely committed (action as well as words) to diverse representation throughout its organization and at all levels.
2. Sensitive to maintaining an open, supportive, and responsive environment.
3. Working toward and purposefully including elements of diverse cultures in its ongoing operations (organizational policies and practices are carefully monitored to the goals of multiculturalism).
4. Authentic in responding to issues confronting it (commitment to changing policies and practices that block cultural diversity).
Operationally defining these produces the following characteristics of the organization:
1. Evidences multicultural commitment from the very top levels.
2. Has a written policy, mission or vision statement that frames the concepts of multiculturalism and diversity into a meaningful operational definition.
3. Has developed a multicultural and diversity action plan with clear objectives and time lines.
- Meaningful change is often thwarted by concentrating solely on individual rather than systemic evolution. Thus, organizations must develop action plans that directly outline specific time frames for implementation of multicultural goals.
4. Has created an oversight team, which is empowered to assess, develop, and monitor the organization's development with respect to the goals of multiculturalism.
- This group may lack the ability to influence, formulate, and implement multicultural initiatives because decision-making power resides at another or higher level of authority.
5. Actively solicit feedback from employees related to issues of race, culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so forth.
- This sends a strong message to their workers and consumers about the importance they place on identifying their needs and concerns.
6. Builds multicultural accountability into the system.
- Example: Professors being responsible for incorporating diversity into their curriculum and using alternative teaching styles.
7. Culturally competent and inclusive organizations infuse multiculturalism into evaluation criteria used for hiring and promotion of employees.
8. Recognizes that mentoring and support networks for minority employees are vital for success and that the presence of an "old boys' network" may adversely impact them.
9. Encourages coalition building and networking among minorities and women.
10. Has a systemic and long-term commitment to educate the entire workforce concerning diversity issues, to address barriers that block multiculturalism, and to increase the sensitivity of workers.
11. Are viewed as both a part of and a reflection of the wider community.
The above information taken directly from: Sue, D.W., et al, (1998). Multicultural Counseling Competencies: Individual and Organizational Development. SAGE Publications.