DEV Community

Cover image for What is Diversity?
Windya Madhushani
Windya Madhushani

Posted on • Updated on

What is Diversity?

Diversity is dissimilarities differences—among people due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, education, experience, physical appearance, capabilities/disabilities, and any other characteristic that is used to distinguish between people.

Why Diversity Matters in Contemporary Organisations?

  • Women's representation in the workplace

At present, increasing representation of women in every place
has become a very common fact. Compared to male students, female students are also seen in schools at a much higher rate.

  • Aging population

At present, the elderly population living at home has become a rapidly increasing number than the working population.

  • Ethnic minorities / Social class / Religion / Caste / Rural vs. Urban / Language differences / Technical competency / Access to communication / Other context-specific factors

Currently, many people representing different religions, different races, and different cultures have come to the work environment.

  • Ethical concerns on accommodating differently-abled people (both mentally and physically)

Nowadays, people with various physical and mental disorders have come to the work environment.

  • Concerns regarding sexual orientation

At present, people with different sexual behaviors such as men, women, homosexuals, etc. have also entered the work environment.

What Is Workplace Diversity?

With its basis in civil rights legislation and social justice, the word diversity often invokes a variety of attitudes and emotional responses in people. Diversity has traditionally been considered a term used by human resources departments, associated with fair hiring practices, discrimination, and inequality. But diversity today is considered to be so much more. We define workforce diversity as the ways in which people in an organization are different from and similar to one another. Notice that our definition not only focuses on the differences but also the similarities of employees. This recognizes that managers and organizations should view employees as having qualities in common as well as differences that separate them. It doesn’t mean that those differences are any less important, but that our focus is in finding ways for managers to develop strong relationships with and engage their entire workforce.

Managing Diversity?

Managing diversity is maximizing the ability of all employees to contribute to organizational goals and to achieve their full potential unhindered by group identities such as race, gender, nationality, age, and departmental affiliations.

Top management needs to make sure that diversity and inclusion are part of the organization’s purpose, goals, and strategies. Diversity needs to be integrated into every aspect of the business—from the workforce, customers, and suppliers to products, services, and the communities served. Policies and procedures must be in place to ensure that grievances and concerns are addressed immediately. Finally, the organizational culture needs to be one where diversity and inclusion are valued, including ensuring individual performance is measured and rewarded on diversity accomplishment.

Obstacles for Managing Diversity

  • Prejudice
  • Discrimination
  • Stereotyping
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Lack of understanding about diversity and inclusion – Perceiving diversity and inclusion as a challenge but not as a strength

How to Overcome the Obstacles Developing awareness (mindset change) about the strengths/advantages of appreciating diversity and accommodating for inclusion

The best example for diversity including to workplace is PUMA company.

Appreciating Diversity and Practicing Inclusion –
PUMA Brand Ambassador for Body Wear and Swim Wear Winnie Harlow

“I hope I am helping to open the door a little further for someone else to get through. My mentors have done that for me and it’s my ambition to do the same for others as I grow in my career. I want to continue to help champion confidence, inclusivity, and acceptance”

  • Winnie Harlow

Image description

All things considered, my final suggestion is that all people are always equal, so all people should be treated equally.

Okay, that’s it for this article.
Also, if you have any questions about this or anything else, please feel free to let me know in a comment below or on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Thank you for reading this article, and see you soon in the next one! ❤️

Top comments (2)

abhixsh profile image
Abishek Haththakage

Nice article !!

gixa789 profile image
Gihan Vimukthi

Important !