When people discuss diversity in work-related settings, all we tend to think about (or at least most of us) is demographic diversity. However, diversity is about more than demographics. Diversity goes beyond gender, age and race.
Without a doubt, it’s not only become a must to ensure but also has become a proven business case and leads to a multitude of positive benefits. Here are 9 types of diversity in the workplace that you should be aware of!
9 Different types of diversity within the workplace
- Gender & gender identity
- Cultural diversity
- Ethnicity and Race
- Sexual orientation
- Age/Generational diversity
- Skill diversity
Gender & gender identity
In most cases, sex and gender are used when referring to the distribution of female and male employees within the workplace. We often hear of this when companies set out to develop diversity strategies of which the focus is achieving a gender-balanced workforce. Which in most cases means hiring in a way that ensures that 50% of employees identify as female and 50% as male.
Ensuring gender diversity within the workplace is more than just making sure that there is an equal distribution of males and females within teams. Gender diversity and inclusion implies that all gender identities within the workplace are accepted and celebrated. If you want to ensure this, start by addressing gender biases that might already be present within the workplace and prevent them from occurring in the future.
Now, when we talk about cultural diversity within the workplace, the primary focus is placed on the different values, norms and traditions that affect how each individual perceives behaves, makes judgements and overall interacts within the workplace.
Ensuring cultural diversity within the workplace starts by assuring that people from different backgrounds, with different political views, past experiences and so on feel included and are coming together to work as a team. Cultural diversity within the workplace has plenty of positive effects & that cultural diversity within the workplace is a win-win for both teams and companies.
Ethnicity and Race
While race refers to someone’s biological identity, ethnicity refers to their cultural background and geographic history.
A racially and ethnically diverse organisation boasts a workforce that is heterogeneous when it comes to cultural, social and physical qualities. However, what we often notice is that factors such as prejudice and unconscious (sadly, even conscious) stereotyping toward certain ethnicities or racial groups will not only lead to discriminatory practices within hiring but also working environments that are toxic.
If you want to improve cultural diversity within the workplace, begin by starting an open conversation with both current employees and candidates about race and ethnicity to ensure that your company is one in which everyone is welcome and included.
Sexuality refers to whom an individual is attracted to. Even though it is a personal thing, within a workplace each and every employee should feel comfortable and safe to express their sexuality without having to face discrimination or harassment from others.
Age (also sometimes referred to as generational diversity) diversity within the workplace basically means that a workplace does not discriminate towards individuals based on age. Companies should actively ensure that their workforce is age-diverse not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because generational diversity within the workplace has proven to lead to positive outcomes in the long run.
According to a Global Talent Trends report by LinkedIn, 74% of talent professionals agree that, in fact, a multigenerational workforce is very important to the future of HR and recruitment overall.
Where demographic diversity focuses on visible, social-economic characteristics of a human being (age, gender, race and sex), neurodiversity focuses on invisible, neurological differences in our brain. These are the types of human characteristics that determine someone’s creativity, self-reliance, innovative thinking, resilience and self-control.
Neurodiversity also refers to those with neurological differences such as dyslexia, Tourette’s and autism. Recognizing all of these neurological differences and creating supportive environments is an absolute must when fostering a workplace environment that is diverse and inclusive. And in fact, neurodiversity can be a workplace strength!
A company in which teams are composed of individuals that are different in terms of personality is likely to be more successful than a team in which everyone is homogeneous. To give you an example, let’s briefly discuss the risk of having only collaborators or individualists in your team.
When only having collaborators in the team, your team will be less creative, less efficient, and take longer to come to decisions, as there’s a constant search for consensus.
When only having individualists in the team, your team members will be solely focused on only their own goals and won’t learn a lot from each other, as less information is being shared
That’s exactly why diversity in terms of personality within the workplace is absolutely important for the success of the company.
When ensuring a diverse and inclusive environment, you must also take into account individuals who have disabilities. Ranging from physical mobility and visual limitations to learning abilities, as well as mental health issues.
You need to make sure that there are accommodations and initiatives in place that help people with disabilities to easily integrate within a workplace. For someone with a physical disability, this can be ensured by making sure there are ramps for wheelchairs. Or for someone who has mental health issues – that there is sufficient mental health support provided.
For any business to succeed, skill diversity is one of the most crucial aspects. When we talk about skill diversity we mean the differences across people within a company in terms of talents, knowledge, hard and soft skills.