Culture3 min read

How we unwittingly leave people behind

On the surface, the word marginalised means to be pushed out to the edges — the opposite of inclusion. Of course, none of us would put others on the periphery deliberately. That would be straight-up discrimination and bullying.

So, how does marginalisation actually happen in our workplace?



Marginalisation feels like…

  • Being told or treated like you don’t look/act/fit the part
  • Being given work that fits a reduced, stereotypical view of you, not who you really are and what you want to do in your career
  • Feeling you don’t match with, “the way things are done here”
  • Feeling like a fraud
  • Unfairly missing out on sponsorship or informal endorsement
    The result here is that peers with innate characteristics similar to the in-group (being a white male, for example) get more access to opportunities
  • Having your ideas passed over, ignored or credit being given to someone else
  • …or not being able to voice your ideas at all

🌡️ Poll time

Have you ever felt the above examples of marginalistion?

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🤔 Why are some groups marginalised?

Yes, inclusion is for all of us and diversity needs all of our perspectives in the mix to work. But some people get kicked back and passed over more than others.

Social structures of power have been set up over history, sometimes by happenstance, but more often by brute force. Now, despite our best intentions to be fair, these structures persist as complex social patterns.



📌 Start with this: figure out your ‘why’

You might not be expecting to read this here. Don’t jump aboard the D&I bandwagon because it seems like the right thing to do.

When treated as due diligence exercises, diversity & inclusion approaches don’t work.

A general passion for social justice is a weak impetus until you put it into a concrete and personal context. To make sense of what you’re really doing when you try one of the actions in this programme, figure out your ‘why’.


  • Think about the perspectives you lack for your team’s work to be truly brilliant.
  • Think about the particular injustices in your community that you really want to have a hand in solving.
  • Think about what incenses you about our world when it lacks true diversity and inclusion.
  • Think about who in your workplace or personal life suffers from marginalisation.

🗝️ Your key takeaway

Certain groups are marginalised and this blocks diversity and inclusion. Getting clued up on the issues and what you can do will improve your acquired diversity. But, first, figure out your personal ‘why’ for working towards true diversity and inclusion and its benefits.

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