Diversity Issues in Career Counselling


One of the primary topics that arise in workplaces include racialism, which stimulates the issue of diversity; the paper discusses Cherokee Native American. The entire document talks about the social norms and the possible effect on the relationship between an individual and work colleagues as well as the community. Moreover, the paper discusses the assumption and biases that most of the Native American experience on the process of counseling and examine the impact of counseling career from the counselor’s and the client’s perspective. The primary dangers of believing in stereotypes as a counselor include making an incorrect diagnosis according to what people claim, but not through professional analysis. Since many people hold stereotypes about different individuals, the paper also assesses the authors own assumption and bias and make a description of how to reduce it to assist in working with a population of diversified people. The paper creates a personality named a “Mary” to help describe the entire community of Cherokee Native Americans.

Keywords: stereotypes, Native Americans, mental health.

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Diversity Issues in Career Counselling

Since the arrival of the European on American soil, the Native Americans have faced racial challenges that cause adverse effects on their quality of life as well as mental health, such as loss of self-confidence and a possible increase in chances of depression. The paper aims to discuss some of these challenges and methods of solving them to ensure the freedom of the Indians in America. In providing express delivery of the above objective, the paper shall create a fictitious person and describe the entire community through that persona.

Description of a Fictions Person from the Native American Cultural Group with a Job-Related Concern

Mary Thompson is the character used in this paper, and she is an Indian aged forty years. In the past several years, Mary has been working as a clerk in the department of human resources, but she came to be jobless after the dissolution of the company. Earlier before, Mary had not managed to further her education, and she ended at the high school level. Currently, Mary is married, and together they have five children to whom they live in the reservations. Mary is the chief breadwinner as her husband is also unemployed, and this makes her spend much time looking for a job. The husband has also been looking for a job but has not yet succeeded. Nonetheless, he works on assisting others with their home activities, including clearing fences and house works to support Mary in catering after some family activities such as education and medications, although it is against the Native American culture for a man to work for people in their homes.

Most of the Indians seeking employment does it with considerable bias and assumptions, which affects their chances of acquiring their dream jobs. Significant Biases affecting Native Americans include the stereotype of laziness that emanates from this community earning quick money through their Casinos in the reservation areas, and this offers difficulties of acquiring a job as compared to people from other social groups. Until today, many of the Indians in America use their first language due to the strict observance of their culture (Zunker, 2016). However, some Native Americans, such as the Transitional group, use both their first language and English. Moreover, the Marginal and the assimilated Native believe they are Indians, and therefore get involved with the activities of the dominant society. Furthermore, the dominant society accepted the Bicultural Natives, although they still identify themselves with their first cultural behaviors (Zunker, 2016).

Mary and her entire family identify with the traditional Native American, and they involve themselves in practices that the community believes in; however, they question some of the ideas taught to them by their fore family. Mary believes in togetherness, and she spends much time creating friends and staying close to different people, and this uplifts her mental status as it eliminates loneliness.

Regionally, the Native Americans live together in cultural collections they call tribes, and the society sees members who commit to living in the reservations as more valuable. The primary reason for valuing people on such backgrounds is because villages and tribes are interdependent, and this supports the feeling of belonging. Society accords status to individuals depending on how one adheres to the attitudes and values embraced by the community, and leaders control these values by checking their benefit to the inhabitants (Sue, 2016). Moreover, the Indian families follow the patriarchal structure where women are governed by men who make almost all decisions in the family. The primary role of women in the culture of Cherokee is to guard after the husband’s wealth as well as look after children. The cultural part can give Mary a mental health life as it has the aspect of togetherness and therefore no loneliness. However, the stereotypes against Mary’s community, when combined with her loss of the job, can adversely affect her mental life as she may feel rejected.

Biases and Assumptions

Some of the retrogressive issues that Native Americans experience from people with contrary assumptions and preferences include laziness founded in the claims of alcoholism and quick money from casinos (Robertson, 2015). The natives keep continually fighting against harmful misconceptions toward their culture, spread through media and entertainment (Qureshi, 2016). Moreover, more individuals force inferiority and unworthiness in the mind of the Native Americans by referring to them as redskins and salvages. However, many of the Indians also hold on to these sentiments as some do not work to cater to their financial needs but expect to get quick money from casinos in the reservations (Robertson, 2015).

The rigid cultural observation for this community also offers challenges to women seeking formal education, and this leaves many of the naïve and controllable by men. Moreover, the bias, assumptions, and racism issues combined with naivety affect their employment opportunities, and this leaves them eligible only for jobs within their society (Robertson, 2015). There exist assumptions that most Indian Americans indulge in alcoholism as compared to any other social group in the U.S., and this is what causes their economic disadvantages; however, these sentiments have no truth. According to Cunningham et al. (2016), it is possible for Native Americans to abandon alcohol as compared to the white counterparts, and the two groups had almost similar rates of drinking, and this proves that alcoholism against Native Americans is just an unnecessary misconception.

If a counselor becomes biased, he or she may misdiagnose or provide an improper intervention, and therefore reduce work efficiency; which means, according to the client’s perspective, the counselor will lose customers and destroy the career life. From the counselor’s perspective, improper work would not offer a chance for improvement, but it would increase incompetence. For a counselor to avoid the menace of bias, he or she should first recognize it as it would allow one to correct that mistake actively. Again, the counselor can use the double-blind studies method to ensure no bias exists as they would not know the client physically.

My Self-Assessment

The Native Americans receive special privileges and benefits from the government, such as educational benefits with reduced tuition fees as well as the Pell grant. The government treats them similarly to the war veterans and the disabled. However, the strategy that should be used here to reduce this stereotype is conducting much research to determine the validity and reasons for these claims. Currently, the available details state that these benefits to the Native Americans are legal as compensation for the land cessation.


The Native American society suffers harmful misconceptions, and offenders pass these negatives believes to generations. Nevertheless, the adverse assumptions and bias have played a significant role in affecting mental health as well as making it difficult to acquire a stable job outside their society.



Robertson, D. L. (2015). Invisibility in the Color-Blind Era. American Indian Quarterly, 39(2), 113-153

Cunningham, C.K. Solomon, T.A, & Muramoto, M.L. (2016). Alcohol use among Native Americans compared to whites: Examining the veracity of the ‘Native American elevated alcohol consumption’ belief. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 160, 65-75. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.015

Zunker, V. G. (2016). Career counselling: A holistic approach (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781305087286.

Qureshi, F. (2016). Native Americans: Negative impacts of media portrayals, stereotypes. https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/race-society/native-americans-media-stereotype-redskins

Sue, D. W. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.).