I work for a large corporate, well-known technology company in the Valley in California. There is a disproportionately large saturation of particular ethnic groups who have migrated here, either from their homeland or from other regions in the Untied States, and have settled across the entire bay area. I want to make it clear that I'm not here to ignite controversy or start a flame war on the topic of any particular ethnic or racial group in particular; I want this brief introduction to set the stage and tone in order to highlight what I want to ask about: ethnic and racial diversity in the workplace.
The fact of the matter is that I am working in a department that is blatantly monoethnic and is mainly composed of one particular race/ethnic group of non-US citizens. If I were to conduct a survey, I wouldn't be surprised to find the ethnic breakdown as 90% of this ethnic group, and 10% everybody else. I personally consider myself a very amiable person, and open to diversity, but really, I feel that I'm working in an environment which outright makes me feel uncomfortable and alienated. I find it quite ironic that for such a large company that publicly celebrates diversity in the workplace, this particular department's ethnic and racial makeup seems to be the opposite of that.
I think it's a fair statement to say that we generally enjoy working with those who are more like ourselves, or at least with those whom we share common ground in some form or another. I find it difficult to establish long-term, lasting relationships here because simply put, the culture gap is so large. Many of the employees who work here are not natives to the country and in many instances, their mannerisms, way of speaking, and even thinking are completely different than what you would expect to see in an American workplace. There are also cases of unprofessional conduct. For example, openly speaking their native-tongue in front of their American counterparts, in very close proximity, during work-related discussions, etc. Beyond that, it appears (though I cannot prove, nor wish to prove anyway because it will open up a whole new can of worms that's not really worth fighting for), that favoritism strongly exists in this climate. For example, certain people of X (majority) background receiving better treatment such as promotions, better bonuses, higher raises and overall friendliness than people of Y background (minority). Again, not provable, but when you're in an environment such as this one, it strongly suggests and appears like that. However, looking at it a different way, you can't really blame them either, they were born in a completely different country and their culture and way of life is permanently ingrained in their upbringing, as it is for us here in America.
I'd like to work with a group of people with whom I can relate to and have some sort of common ground. Wouldn't you feel a bit awkward if you were in an environment that was dominantly one single race or ethnicity? How can I phrase this question in such a way doesn't get perceived negatively, or even seen as bigotry? Is it a fair request, or am I dreaming?