what is diversity in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace is a critical element of every recruitment and retention strategy now. If you’re wondering what that means and why it’s so important, we hope these blogs help explain why diversity is on the mind of all hiring managers and what the benefits of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace are. We aim to show you why it’s time to upgrade ‘diversity and inclusion’ from buzzwords to business initiatives.
So, What is Diversity?
Diversity incorporates all of the elements that make individuals unique, and while there are countless differences among everyone, we tend to define diversity by a few social categories - such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, abilities and so forth. Diversity in the workplace means that an organization employs a diverse team of people that’s well-reflective of these social categories.
In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws to protect individual employees in the workplace based on specified social categories that often face discrimination. This is the Non-Discrimination Statement and Policy stated by the US government:
“The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.”
Diversity is something that should be viewed as an opportunity, not an obligation, and one of the main things to understand when discussing diversity is that it counts for little without inclusion – which represents the other side of the same coin. It’s not about simply employing a diverse group of people, this is an opportunity to tap a diverse set of backgrounds, world views, experiences and methods of problem-solving.