Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace for Good is one of the latest non-fiction entries covering a topic growing in prominence with each additional year. As racial tensions continue to rise in 2020 and likely beyond, Michelle Silverthorn’s new book is timelier than ever despite never addressing the fraught relationship between minorities, particularly people of color, and law enforcement. Silverthorn, instead, addresses the necessary steps business leaders interested in establishing a workplace environment placing a high premium on diversity and equity must take to make it a reality. Silvethorn has the necessary background to make these assertions. She is an acknowledged diversity expert, an in-demand speaker, founder and CEO of the firm Inclusion Nation. She has aided universities, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profits in altering their professional landscape in such a way that employees are on equal footing and diversity is prized. Her book lays out the path towards making that possible.


Her authorial skills are polished and it makes Authentic Diversity a pleasurable, as well as enlightening, reading experience. Those who disagree with Silverthorn’s conclusion are, without question, guided far more by politics than they are common sense; if there’s any doubt of that, the mountain of research she utilizes to buttress her ideas demolishes such doubts. The strong case she makes for her point of view is consistent throughout.  Despite the assertive tone of her text, Silverhorn never comes across as heavy-handed. She will further impress many readers with the way she sounds so assured while balancing it with a relaxed prose style full of personality.

Much of that personality emerges when she discusses her personal growth. She concedes early in the book that, at one time, she had a very different take on this topic and explores how her point of view evolved over time and with added experiences. Her story about how “Jasmine” changed her life comes to life thanks to her narrative prowess, one of the book’s strengths that may fly under the radar. Authentic Diversity is a short book, but Silverthorn’s ability to present her opinions in such a stylish and succinct fashion makes the book zip by.


It will stand up under repeated reading. Silverthorn urges readers to take on the text from cover to cover on their initial reading but, following that, you can return to Authentic Diversity to consult specific sections relevant to your own concerns and needs. One thing you will come away with from this book, if nothing else, is that the world is different now and won’t be reverting to past paradigms. Ignore the winds of change at your own peril because voices such as Silvethorn’s will not be silenced. Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace for Good will stand for many years to come as a seminal text on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion thanks not only to Michelle Silverthorn’s talents as a writer, but the solid logic underlying her ideas. Generations to come will be grateful for her work, one pair of hands among many, but there’s little doubt we will be hearing from her again.

Garth Thomas