I will soon switch from a highly diverse work environment to a non-diverse workplace.

In my current workspace, my colleagues are from all around the world, e.g. US, Iran, China, India, Canada, Turkey, and Cameroon. I am going to switch to an new company and everyone I have been contacted from this company was from the same country, which I don't have problem with, but I am a little worried as I haven't worked in a non-diverse workplace before. In the past, I encountered people who preferred speaking in their native language (non-English in an English speaking country) among each other while conducting collaborative projects.

Is there anything I should be concerned about?

  • 1
    In this new environment, are you going to be the odd one out, or do you fit in with everyone else there?
    – Erik
    Feb 8, 2019 at 8:14
  • @Erik the former.
    – csg
    Feb 8, 2019 at 8:15

7 Answers 7


You've already pointed out the language angle, so that's covered.

Generally speaking, no - you shouldn't have a concern unless there's an entrenched culture in place at the new workplace that's too much for you to deal with.

You're most probably going to find that individuals themselves are diverse - they come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, etc.

Go into this with an open mind and see where the experience takes you. If you find yourself being marginalized or excluded, you may need to rethink. I'm assuming that you've had discussions with the people/manager you'll be working with, so will have a fair idea of the friendliness/formality at play here.


Yes! they use pitchforks on everyone else!!

Joking aside...unless the company is full of [please insert race] [please insert gender] [please insert religion] and only them and you are not, then no...

The company will be diverse, you will find people from different backgrounds, in different points in their career. They may not come from different countries but...unless you work in the airport that doesn't really matter...

Just enjoy your new opportunity!


I worked as the only foreigner in a series of purely ethnically/nationally homogenous workplaces as an English teacher in Korea for years. To go slightly against the grain on this, there are things to be aware of.

Conflict resolution is often culturally framed. In your diverse workplace there would have been a variety of styles present (direct emotionless, direct emotional, indirect, etc) but acceptance of that variety. In a culturally homogenous workplace your style may turn into an issue if it runs against the cultural norm. If everyone beats around the bush, you may end up being the jerk by addressing problems directly.

The same thing is true regarding view of time and deadlines. The central organization in my company is in Belgium but there are plants all over the world. I recently spoke to a person in the central role about doing training in this variety of environments. He said that if you show up 5 minutes late to a meeting in Germany you will get a talking to whereas if you show up 5 minutes late to a meeting in Italy you will be the first one there. When he goes to a new place he always shows up early to everything until he figures out what the local culture is. If the prevailing culture is extreme when it comes to coming to meetings or meeting deadlines being the odd one out can cause friction.

As a special case if you are going into a supervisorial/managerial role you should make yourself very familiar with any cultural quirks. Assuming that some norm is universal may put you in an uncomfortable situation. In my experience in Korea calling in sick is really frowned upon, the cultural norm is come in, look sick, get told to go lie down, and get some sleep at work. If a North American manager came in and laid into someone for sleeping on the job or coming in sick they would be unfairly treating that employee.


Most of the people on Earth work in a non-nationality-diverse place and everything is OK.

The question is, do you want to work in a non-diverse environment? Is it possible that diversity will come not from colleagues, but from customers (or others)?

Of course, each company had their own company-culture, which can be better or worse. But culture and diversity are mostly independent.


What is non diverse about this place?

Are people identified by their membership in a identity group before their individual characteristics?

Human beings are individuals, each with their own thoughts, personalities, emotions, interests, and experiences. We are not sheep that adhere to the group we're part of.

Think long and hard by what you mean when you use the word "non-diverse". Frankly, it's quite insulting to your new colleagues.

Think for yourself, don't regurgitate info you are fed on what is and isn't "diverse".


Is there anything I should be concerned about?

Diversity wise? No, almost certainly not. I've worked in dozens of shops and never encountered a truly homogeneous environment. And you'd be surprised where some of the more and less diverse work places have been.

Diversity itself can be just as diverse and you may experience different cultural norms, lines of thought and character aspects that just aren't as obvious as those you've described. Getting to really know people is how you understand their culture and character.

I'd caution you to not judge the organization by the very limited contact you've had so far, especially if you've never met anyone. The person on the other end of the phone might be gay, differently abled, adopted, a part time concert cellist, none of which would know from an HR conversation.


Ask yourself: what makes such diversity so special for me ?

Are the people at the new company from the same country as you ? I understand working with people from different nationalities can be estimulating. After all, you have the chance to learn many things , whatever is the subject matters. Another exemple of question you should ask yourself:

Is your concern related to an hypothetical boredom you may feel as you move to the new company ?

I have provided you more questions than answers , but that's all about making a self-analysis. The answer to your concerns are already inside your mind.

All the best!

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