Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic. In our ever-expanding world, it has become more important than ever. And sometimes, it’s a tricky subject to understand. Luckily though, the different kinds of diversity can be split into distinct sections, making them easier to understand.
Want to know more? Well, let’s take a closer look at what are the types of diversity.
- What Is diversity?
- Why Is Diversity Important?
- What Are The Types Of Diversity?
- 1 Racial Diversity
- 2 Cultural Diversity
- 3 Age Diversity
- 4 Religious Diversity
- 5 Gender Diversity
- 6 Disability Diversity
- 7 Sexual Orientation Diversity
- Protected By Law
- Are There Any Other Types Of Diversity?
- How Can I Get A Job In Diversity?
- What Is Your Work Environment Like?
- What Are The Types Of Diversity – Final Thoughts
What Is diversity?
Firstly, we need to consider what diversity is. What does it entail? And why does it matter?
Diversity in the workplace refers to having different groups of people working side by side. There could be many ways that these groups differ. They could be of different ages, have varied backgrounds, come from contrasting countries, or more besides.
Why Is Diversity Important?
The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same, wouldn’t it? You know what they say: variety is the spice of life. A company needs to have a wide range of employees. Diversity is good for business. If all the employees are similar, then projects and problems will only be looked at from one angle. A diverse workforce ensures a well-rounded approach to business.
Plus, it reduces the risk of bias and prejudice. Unfortunately, the hiring process is sometimes unfairly skewed towards certain groups of people. A strong diversity policy ensures that this is less likely to happen.
What Are The Types Of Diversity?
Generally speaking, there are seven types of diversity. These distinct groups are protected by law. This means they are required to have equal employment opportunities and cannot be discriminated against.
We can define race as having certain physical characteristics. Skin color is a primary factor when it comes to race, but there are other things to consider too. It’s a tricky business, with many scientists these days agreeing that race is a social construct rather than a biological identity.
Examples of race…
Words we often use when talking about race include African, Asian, and Caucasian. And it’s important to remember that race has nothing to do with where a person comes from. One does not need to come from a country in Asia to be part of the Asian race.
Unlike race, cultural diversity has a lot to do with where someone comes from. This type of diversity is about a person’s ethnicity and background. It concentrates on the values and traditions held within their community.
What’s the best way to learn about cultural diversity?
Why not try talking to people from the culture you’re interested in? If you work for a large multinational corporation, there will likely be a lot of cultural diversity. Respectful questions are generally welcome as a way of increasing sensitivity and understanding.
When working on any project, it’s vital to have workers with a wide age range. The older employees have the experience and know-how to ensure things stay on track. Younger colleagues keep things fresh and up to date, bringing in modern processes and technology.
This isn’t just about people of different ages working together. It’s also about entirely different generations interacting. Millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, and baby boomers; can all operate well together.
Being respectful of spiritual beliefs is vital in any workplace. It isn’t always obvious what someone believes. While some express their religion through clothes or jewelry, others don’t show any outward exhibition of faith.
Do you believe?
All companies must make allowances for religious employees. This could include letting them take time off for important festivals or giving them space to pray at work. And don’t forget; it’s important to respect those who hold no spiritual beliefs as well.
Gender diversity is also sometimes known as sex diversity (though it’s widely accepted that sex and gender are not the same things). This involves having a workforce made up of both men and women. It also includes protection for people who identify as non-binary.
A big part of gender diversity is about the upper management of a business. In the past, these positions were almost exclusively given to men. Strong gender diversity policies now give other genders more of a chance to take on these roles.
Disability comes in a huge number of forms. They could be severe or minor. They could involve both physical and mental health.
Regardless of the nature of the disability, companies need to ensure inclusivity wherever possible. In some jobs, this might involves installing ramps for wheelchairs or providing employee counseling services. And the hiring process must not be skewed against those with disabilities as well.
Sexual Orientation Diversity
Sexual orientation cannot be divided simply into either gay or straight. Lesser-known orientations, such as pansexual and asexual, have become much more visible recently. And companies have to be mindful of them.
Sexual orientation is often intertwined with gender diversity. That’s because our definition of gender is changing and evolving. Linking the two diversity types takes care of a wider group of people, ensuring they’re all protected.
Protected By Law
The above diversity types are all protected by law. We can use the phrase ‘protected characteristics’ here. This means the people who fall into these categories have certain characteristics that cannot be discriminated against.
Why does this matter? Well, because it makes the hiring process fairer. Hiring managers cannot employ new staff based on personal prejudices. It means that no one can be refused a job because of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation.
Are There Any Other Types Of Diversity?
Of course! However, they’re a little harder to define. These diversity types do not rely on specific protected characteristics like the ones mentioned earlier.
- Class is a great example. A person’s exact socioeconomic background does not affect their ability to do a job. However, it’s also difficult to define accurately, so it is not protected by law.
- Education and experience are two others. Sure, a certain level of each might be necessary, depending on the job. But for many roles, it’s good to have a variety of staff with different experience and education levels.
- And, of course, there’s personality. It’s O.K. to expect a job candidate to have certain qualities, such as commitment to hard work. However, in some projects, it’s helpful to have opposing personalities working together.
How Can I Get A Job In Diversity?
If what I’ve detailed here interests you, then why not look for a job in diversity? Businesses are always on the lookout for staff who are committed to fairness and equality in the workplace. There are plenty of websites out there to help you find your ideal role.
Where to look?
D&I Leaders is an awesome place to start. Every job listed is related to diversity and inclusion. It has training opportunities and other resources too. If it’s your first time trying for a role in this area, a little training and preparation might be a good idea. Eidesign is a fantastic online resource. Here, you’ll find training strategies, case studies, demos, and much more besides.
And there’s always diversity.com. Both employers and employees can register to either post a job or offer their skills. You can search by both location or job to find the perfect match for you.
What Is Your Work Environment Like?
It is essential to nurture a healthy work ethic and encourage a happy workplace! So, let’s start by finding out What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer to get a better idea, as well as our insightful article on How To Implement Sensitivity Training In The Workplace in 2023.
Unfortunately, not all companies are vigilant about these issues. So, if you find yourself in a job where it has become intolerable, then find out more about Reasons For Leaving A Job, or perhaps What Do You Like Least About Your Job to help you decide.
Once you have made your decision, use these necessary steps, such as How To Know When To Quit Without Notice And Resign Professionally, along with How To Resign From Your Job, and finally, How To Write A Resignation Letter.
What Are The Types Of Diversity – Final Thoughts
For some, diversity can seem like a difficult topic. But it doesn’t have to be. At the end of the day, diversity boils down to one thing.
Treat others in the company the way that you want to be treated. Not only does this result in a harmonious environment, but it makes for a more productive workplace as well.
Wishing you a healthy and happy work environment!