There is so much written and discussed about the topic of diversity but then I also hear of women’s initiatives and other affinity groups. Don’t all of these groups fall under the diversity umbrella? I would appreciate an overview of diversity and what it means in today’s workplace.
The short answer to the first part of your question is yes, all of the various groups you refer to are a part of a diverse workplace and are representative of a particular group that contributes to that diversity.
Let me give you the overview of diversity that you asked about which I think will help you better understand when and how the term is used.
We can break diversity down into two categories, or types, that are present in today’s workplace – vertical diversity and horizontal diversity. Vertical diversity refers to the wide range of ages in the workplace, with four generations working alongside each other, and horizontal diversity refers to all other types of different groups to include those of various races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs.
The important thing to know and understand about diversity is that it enriches our lives, both professionally and personally. It brings such different backgrounds and perspectives together, and it creates synergies that otherwise aren’t generated. This results in greater ideas and increased creativity to all settings and in all situations.
Many studies have proved that when diversity is embraced and celebrated, organizations are higher performing, more profitable entities as a result. Diversity contributes just what it implies, a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, that ultimately better serve the world.