Types of diversity
Diversity in the workplace is the presence of individuals of different backgrounds and characteristics, such as race, gender, age, ability, nationality, sexual orientation, education, and religion. Diversity also encompasses different perspectives, perspectives and opinions stemming from different life experiences. From a management perspective, diversity is essential in creating a productive and effective work environment. It fosters creativity and new ideas, encourages collaboration and the sharing of different perspectives, and can ultimately lead to better decision-making, increased productivity, and improved customer service.
Example of types of diversity
- Gender: Gender diversity in the workplace is important for a number of reasons. Having women in executive and leadership positions can help to create a balance between traditional male and female roles, as well as provide a voice for the experiences of women in the workplace. Furthermore, having a diverse gender mix can help to create a better understanding of the needs of different customer segments, as well as different approaches to problem solving.
- Race: Race diversity in the workplace can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment. Having people of different races in the workplace can help to create a more understanding and accepting culture, which can lead to better collaboration and communication. Furthermore, having a diverse racial mix can help to create a better understanding of the needs of different customer segments, as well as different approaches to problem solving.
- Age: Age diversity in the workplace can provide multiple perspectives and experiences. Having a mix of different age groups can help to create a more understanding and accepting culture, as well as providing different perspectives and ideas. Furthermore, having a diverse age mix can help to create a better understanding of the needs of different customer segments, as well as different approaches to problem solving.
- Ability: Ability diversity in the workplace can help to create a more inclusive and accessible environment. Having people with different abilities can help to create a more understanding and accepting culture, as well as providing different perspectives and ideas. Furthermore, having a diverse ability mix can help to create a better understanding of the needs of different customer segments, as well as different approaches to problem solving.
- Nationality: Nationality diversity in the workplace can help to create a more global and diverse environment. Having people from different countries can help to create a more understanding and accepting culture, as well as providing different perspectives and ideas. Furthermore, having a diverse nationality mix can help to create a better understanding of the needs of different customer segments, as well as different approaches to problem solving.
- Sexual orientation - Companies that embrace diversity in sexual orientation can create a more open and accepting workplace.
- Education - Different educational backgrounds can provide a variety of skills and knowledge to the workplace.
- Religion - A diverse religious background can create a greater understanding of different cultures and beliefs.
When to use diversity
Diversity in the workplace can be used to:
- Foster innovation and creativity by encouraging collaboration among individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and skillsets;
- Enhance communication and understanding among employees from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs;
- Challenge and broaden the perspectives of all team members, leading to better decision-making;
- Strengthen customer service by allowing employers to better understand the needs of their diverse customers;
- Increase productivity by creating a more positive and inclusive work environment;
- Build a sense of community and belonging among team members, which leads to greater job satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty.
Steps of achieving diversity
An effective workplace diversity program requires several steps to be taken in order to be successful. These steps include:
- Establishing a clear and specific diversity policy: This involves setting out the company’s commitment to diversity and providing guidance on how this can be achieved throughout the organization.
- Making recruitment and hiring decisions based on merit: Objectively assessing candidates for roles and selecting the most suitable person for the job regardless of their background or identity.
- Creating an inclusive work environment: Ensuring that everyone feels welcome and respected regardless of their background or identity. This includes creating a safe space for people to express their views and ideas, engaging in open dialogue, and providing support and resources.
- Fostering an open and honest dialogue: Encouraging individuals to share their experiences, opinions, and perspectives in a respectful and non-judgmental manner.
- Ensuring diversity and inclusion is promoted at all levels: It is important that every level of the organization supports and encourages diversity and inclusion. This includes senior management setting the example and providing leadership on the issue.
- Promoting education and understanding: Providing resources and training on diversity and inclusion to ensure everyone is aware of their own biases and the importance of being inclusive.
- Evaluating progress and taking corrective action: Regularly assessing the progress of the organization’s diversity program and making changes where necessary.
Advantages of types of diversity
Diversity in the workplace can bring a variety of advantages to an organization. An inclusive and diverse workforce can help foster creativity, encourage collaboration, and ultimately lead to better decision-making and improved customer service. Some of the key advantages of workplace diversity include:
- Increased Innovation: Employees from different backgrounds and perspectives are more likely to share a variety of ideas, which can lead to new products, services, and processes.
- Improved Employee Retention: A diverse workplace can help create an inclusive environment, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and improved employee retention.
- Increased Productivity: A diverse workplace can foster collaboration, which can lead to increased efficiency and improved customer service.
- Improved Decision Making: When employees are exposed to different perspectives, they are more likely to make better decisions than those made by a homogenous team.
- Greater Financial Performance: Studies have found that companies with diverse workforces generally have better financial results than those with homogenous ones.
Limitations of types of diversity
There are limitations to the types of diversity that can be achieved in the workplace. These include:
- Limited representation of certain demographic groups: Although organizations may strive to hire a diverse workforce, they may be limited in terms of the number of individuals they can hire from certain demographic groups. For example, if a company is located in a predominantly white area, it may be difficult to recruit employees from other ethnic backgrounds.
- Unconscious bias: Despite companies’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, individuals may still unconsciously have biases towards certain groups. Unconscious bias can lead to biased hiring and promotion decisions, which can limit the diversity in the workplace.
- Lack of cultural understanding: Organizations can find it difficult to create an environment that is inclusive to people from different backgrounds and cultures if they don’t have a good understanding of these cultures. This can lead to misunderstandings and an unwillingness to embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Lack of resources: Organizations may not have the necessary resources or financial capabilities to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives. This can limit the ability of the organization to create and maintain a diverse workplace.
|Types of diversity — recommended articles
|Diversity and inclusion — Intellectual diversity — Informational social influence — Demographically diverse — Organisational commitment — Relationships at work — Cultural distance — Leadership and organizational culture — Benefits of diversity
- Lu, C. M., Chen, S. J., Huang, P. C., & Chien, J. C. (2015). Effect of diversity on human resource management and organizational performance. Journal of Business Research, 68(4), 857-861.