What is diversity in the workplace? I’ve been searching for definitions — and there are many. Recently I ran into this one from Cornell University and I thought it was quite good. What do you think?
Workplace diversity is a people issue, focused on the differences and similarities that people bring to an organization. It is usually defined broadly to include dimensions beyond those specified legally in equal opportunity and affirmative action non-discrimination statutes. Diversity is often interpreted to include dimensions which influence the identities and perspectives that people bring, such as profession, education, parental status and geographic location.
As a concept, diversity is considered to be inclusive of everyone. In many ways, diversity initiatives complement non-discrimination compliance programs by creating the workplace environment and organizational culture for making differences work. Diversity is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating workplace environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives.
The school’s Catherwood Library has prepared a guide introducing key library and online resources in the area of workplace diversity, including practitioner resources, journals, consultant directories, and more.
In Starting Points, you will find a link to the BLS – Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as a comprehensive starting point for disability law. The Databases section links to a GenderStats database. Even if you are not a Cornell student and can’t use all of the links, there is still quite a lot of information here that is accessible, so it is a good starting place for doing some research.