Students in Rochester schools now speak more than 50 different languages. (Rochester Public Schools)

In the next 25 years, jobs in our community will grow by 41%, but our pool of workers will only grow by 20%. (Rochester Olmsted Planning Department).

In the next 25 years, 40,000 additional people will move to Olmsted County. 57% will be people of color. (Rochester Olmsted Planning Department)

Diversity Toolkit for Business


Our community is changing at a rapid pace—and the reality is these changes will hold both challenges and opportunities. Your response can mean the difference between merely surviving the changes or thriving in the new marketplace.



Section 1: The Business Case for Investing in Diversity


The latest demographics and data, plus analysis on what the numbers mean for business.

  1. General Business Case for Southeast Minnesota
  2. Healthcare Industry
  3. Technology Industry
  4. Manufacturing Industry
  5. The Cost of Discrimination


Section 2: Training Tools

These training activities are brief enough to incorporate in a staff meeting, flexible enough to use in large and small groups, and easy to use with clear objectives and instructions to guide the user.

  1. Bias Card Game: An activity on inclusion and exclusion
  2. Choosing Sides: A thought-provoking exercise on the value and challenges of working with those who are like us and those who are different
  3. Diversity Bingo: Find out something new about your coworkers and discover the diversity in your midst.
  4. First Thoughts: Our mental reflexes can surprise us. Becoming aware of them is the first step to moving beyond them.
  5. Is the World Colorblind? Take a look at the imagery of color in the English language.
  6. Responding to Disability: To help or not to help? A short quiz and resources for discussion.
  7. Sketch a Penny: A demonstration of the value of different perspectives.
  8. The Power of Language: Building awareness of the subtle connotations and the potent effects of the words we choose.
  9. The Real Olmsted County: How much do YOU know about this place we call home?
  10. The Squeeze: A contest illustrates the importance of being careful with what we say.
  11. Village of 1,000: Shrink down our global village for a better understanding of our place in the world.
  12. Nonverbal Translations: Learn about cultural differences in nonverbal communication and explore strategies for bridging the communication gap.
  13. Insider/Outsider: Developing understanding for individuals outside the mainstream.
  14. Exchanging Greetings: Build rapport among coworkers and customers by learning common greetings in other languages.
  15. What's In a Name? Discover shared values across ethnic boundaries by sharing the stories behind our names.


Section 3: Ready Resources

Information at your fingertips.


Best Practices in Managing Diversity

  1. Best Practices in Diversity Initiatives
  2. A Diversity Self-Assessment
  3. The Culturally Proficient Professional
  4. Principles of Cultural Proficiency
  5. Best Practices in Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
  6. Best Practices in Retaining a Diverse Workforce


Diversity Tip Sheets

  1. Tips for Unbiased Interviewing
  2. Generational Differences in the Workplace
  3. Marketing Trends Among Minorities
  4. Reasonable Accommodation: What Does it Mean for Your Business?
  5. Resources for Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
  6. Somali Culture
  7. Sudanese Culture
  8. Southeast Asian Culture
  9. Cross-Cultural Communication: Translating Nonverbal Cues
  10. Business Etiquette Around the World
  11. Communicating with Non-Native English Speakers
  12. Refugees and the Lasting Effects of War: Understanding Your New Neighbors



Permission is granted to print copies of the above materials for use within your organization only. The Diversity Council copyright information must be included on all copies. For all other uses, please contact the Diversity Council at