Case Study — A White Homosexual, A Black Woman, An African Muslim, & A White Mistress

I was asked to write a diversity case study for a course I am taking.  Here it is:

Sue, a black female, owns a company with 30 employees and hires Betty, a white female who has been the 2 year mistress of Bob (a local business man who still lives with his wife Joyce), to be her administrative assistant.

On Betty’s first day at work, an employee, George, a white homosexual who is Joyce’s brother, walks into Sue’s office and says: “I’ve got to talk with you. Your new assistant, Betty, well, uh, she’s doing terrible things. She’s my brother-in-law’s mistress and is breaking my sister’s heart. You’ve got to get rid of her.”

Sue responds: “Now, George, I’m sorry you’re having a hard time accepting my new assistant, but she is a great person and very qualified for the job. And you know, we have to be tolerant and accepting in the work place; it’s the law. Just try to be more open-minded, George.”

George turns and walks out of Sue’s office. He is very hurt by what he (perhaps because of his low diversity maturity) perceives to be a rejection of his beliefs and concerns. Matters get worse the next day when George sees a picture of his brother-in-law, Bob, hanging on the wall in Betty’s office. Even more hurt, George begins to tell other employees about Betty and the tremendous pain that her affair with his brother-in-law is causing his sister Joyce.

Abdul, an African Muslim employee, feels so sorry for George that he goes to talk with Sue. “In my home country,” Abdul says, “adultery is serious and harmful act, not tolerated. I feel wronged with Betty here, but it worse for George. I don’t agree with what George does, but he not talk about it at work. I feel his pain he feels for his sister. George told me he quit if Betty keep working here. I thought America more fair than that.”

What should Sue do? She has built her company on diversity, not just inclusion. What many see as George’s sinful behavior is accepted and tolerated in her company. Should Betty’s be, too?





About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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2 Responses to Case Study — A White Homosexual, A Black Woman, An African Muslim, & A White Mistress

  1. Jon Zens says:

    Steve, this is a very interesting case. It seems to me that the broad stroke is that a company hires people to do various jobs. The company does not exist to police lifestyles. Probably every company has some employees whose lifestyle is not Ozzie & Harriet. But if people do their jobs well, you pretty much have to let their lifestyles alone. If Sue was to fire Betty because of her immorality, then I would guess she would be in deep legal trouble. Obviously, cases like this can get pretty sticky. If I were in Sue’s position, I would probably try to get the key parties together and attempt to see if a working relationship could not be worked out. Given all the factors present in the story you summarized, this is a tough one for sure!

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