What Sesame Street’s Newest Muppet Says About Workplace Diversity

Sesame Street is adding a new character-Julia, a Muppet character who has Autism. Sesame Street realizes that, for whatever reason, the percent of children with Autism has risen from what it was when Sesame Street began over 40 years ago. The thing is, children with Autism don’t stay children, they grow into adulthood and as they do, most will need jobs.

So, let’s talk about diversity. We HR types love to talk about diversity. We have “Diversity Officers” and we post all our job descriptions with “Company X is an Equal Opportunity Employer.” But, then we write articles like this one: Job Seekers: Avoid These 7 Nonverbal Mistakes In Job Interviews. Now, her ideas are good ones and you should pay attention to them, but note how they’d affect the chances of a person with autism getting the job.

To keep reading click here: What Sesame Street’s Newest Muppet Says About Workplace Diversity

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6 thoughts on “What Sesame Street’s Newest Muppet Says About Workplace Diversity

  1. I am a middle aged researcher with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and I exhibit few physical quirks. I worked in an elite university. The job was perfect for me, the workplace was not. Because I had a trusting (gullible) nature and I single mindedly focused on “the work”, my research collaborators routinely ended up getting credit for many of my research grants and publications. They waited until the research was complete and then sent off the manuscript for publication in their names without telling me. This was accepted practice in this department. People with ASD are great cannon fodder for unscrupulous employers.

    1. “The job was perfect for me, the workplace was not.” This happens far too often. But even worse is when they decide that we won’t fit in and WON’T hire us rather than providing the simple accommodation of letting us do our job and not requiring us to be happy shiny water cooler schmoozers…

      So we stay over educated and un(der)employed.

  2. There are currently a few news stories in which legislators and elected politicians seem willing to sacrifice competence and capability for diversity. By all means, a diverse workforce is more socially interesting, but a competent and capable workforce is a requirement. In theory, an organization might be more effective if the inputs into the decision making are more diverse, but if there is research to support this notion, I would really like to read it.

  3. “If you want true diversity in employees, you want diversity of ideas, opinion, experience, and thought, not just skin color.” One of the worst places I ever worked was a very large corporation that prided itself on its “diversity”. All photo ops had to include people of various races, ethnicities, disabilities, sexual orientations, etc. Looked great on the surface. Step out of line with the corporate groupthink, and you were out the door as the earliest possible opportunity. (I was “laid off” twice, despite earning performance awards.) I call this “superficial diversity”, and it is meaningless.

    1. Yep, most of the international corporations that I have worked for have that same type of diversity.

      I’ve always called it “Benetton Ad” diversity. Different races, ethnicities, and genders; but all wearing the same clothes.

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