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The term diversity refers to the collective mix of differences and similarities present in a company’s team members. A diverse workplace has people of all ages, values, individual characteristics, cultural backgrounds, beliefs, life experiences, education levels, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. 


Diversity is a term that is frequently used in parallel with the terms inclusion and equity. In the past, many companies were focused on diversity because of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, but today, organizations recognize that there are many positive impacts and benefits that come with a diverse workplace. 


There are demonstrated correlations between business performance and a company’s diversity. A 2019 McKinsey study found that companies with diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to show above-average profitability. 


There are four categories of diversity:


  • Organizational Diversity: Job function, employment status, pay type, management status, seniority, place of work, union affiliation

  • Internal Diversity: Cultural identity, age, assigned sex, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, neurodiversity, race, physical ability, sexual orientation

  • External Diversity: Citizenship, appearance, familial status, education, location, life experience, religious belief, relationship status, socioeconomic status

  • Worldview Diversity: Moral compasses, cultural experiences, travel experience, outlook on life, political affiliations




In hiring, an example of diversity can mean making a conscious effort to hire people who belong to underrepresented groups. Equally important, using diverse interviewers in the hiring process can ensure that candidates feel represented. One way a company can ensure that it is hiring a diverse workforce is to use a blind application process.


Related Terms

DEI Policy

is the term used to refer to an organization’s policies or programs used to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values. Having a DEI policy in place encourages recruiters to recruit and hire diverse team members and build a welcoming workplace that is free of discrimination.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

is an extension of the concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). While DEI focuses on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, DEIB takes it a step further by also focusing on creating a sense of belonging for all employees. This means fostering an environment where individuals of all backgrounds feel valued, respected, supported, and included in the organization's culture and community. DEIB initiatives can include but are not limited to employee resource groups, employee engagement surveys, affinity groups, cultural competency training, and other employee development opportunities that focus on creating an inclusive and equitable workplace culture and promoting a sense of belonging for all employees.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

is a framework that organizations and individuals can use to create a more equitable, inclusive, and just society. JEDI is an intersectional approach that recognizes that issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are interconnected and cannot be addressed in isolation.


Justice refers to the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals, and the creation of a society that is free from discrimination and oppression. This includes addressing systemic issues such as poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice.


Equity refers to the fair distribution of resources and opportunities, taking into account the different needs and circumstances of individuals and communities. This means recognizing and addressing the ways in which historic and current systems of oppression have led to disparities and working to ensure that everyone has what they need to succeed.


Diversity refers to the recognition and valuing of differences among individuals and groups. This includes differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and other characteristics.


Inclusion refers to the active engagement and involvement of individuals and groups who have been historically excluded or marginalized. This includes creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and able to fully participate.


Together, these elements work to create a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Dimensions of Diversity

is a term that refers to a company’s workplace diversity and the employees who have different backgrounds, traits, and abilities.

Diversity Hiring

is the conscious practice of creating a diverse workforce by hiring employees from diverse backgrounds, including sexual orientations, races, national origins, and genders.

Equal Opportunity Employment (EOE)

refers to offering employment opportunities to people based on their ability to perform the duties of a job rather than their age, gender, race, or other factors. EOE is the idea that every individual has an equal opportunity to be successful in their career regardless of where they come from, who they are, or what they look like.

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