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What is Diversity?


Diversity is a simple word that contains many human variables. Diversity represents the distinctions that exist between individuals to include: culture, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics, age, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, religion, language, appearance, personality, learning and thinking styles, communication and conflict styles, family status, geography, military status, education, life and work experiences, functional responsibility in a given organization, etc.

Diversity work in organizations involves understanding and leveraging similarities and differences of all people involved in accomplishing the mission. It is a process that allows diverse groups of people to maximize productivity, creativity, and enjoyment to reach their full potentials without being advantaged or disadvantaged by irrelevant or limiting factors.

Organizational Culture

Diversity work is defined here as the process of creating a culture, a set of values, a mind-set, a system, an organizational climate that is flexible and skilled enough to promote, support, respect, and value the multiple differences that exist in society as an asset to be valued and sought after. It is recognized that the group intelligence and performance of heterogeneous groups is higher than that of homogenous groups when systems and skills are in place that create an environment of inclusion, trust, collaboration, and respect and the ability for each to reach full potential.


Creating high-achieving, diverse and dynamic learning organizations is the goal. This involves developing processes to ensure that the diversities of employees, current and future clients, vendors, the community, and all stakeholders are taken into account in every plan and every decision. Diversity work is an active process that requires an investment in time, resources, and change. It is a paradigm shift from a history of intentional exclusion to an intentional full utilization of resources. Valuing and managing diversity will require policies. relationships, procedures, practices, benefits to be reviewed and revised to ensure fairness, equity, and competitive advantage. Diversity work means not only increasing awareness, but also changing the system to support differences for the benefit of all.

The purpose of unity and diversity work in organizations 
is not to divide a united nation, 
but to finally unite an extremely divided nation.

Valuing our rich human diversity will help this country be 
what it says it wants to be.

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Date of Last Update: 08/20/2011