The concept of diversity includes acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and fostering environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment; practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own; understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing; recognizing that personal, cultural, and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others; and building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.
Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background, and more. Diversity involves not only how people perceive themselves but also how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability, and change.
Diversity management is a process intended to create and maintain a positive work environment where the similarities and differences of individuals are valued, so that all can reach their potential and maximize their contributions to an organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
Diversity in Relation to Culture and Performance
As the importance of diversity in the organizational context has increased manifold, most organizations would like to research on diversity–organizational culture linkage, its effect on diversity openness, and between diversity and performance both at individual and organizational levels. Patrick (2010) found that diversity determines not only the effects of the diversity within an organization but also the level of openness to dissimilarity characteristics among the organization’s members, work groups, and culture. Despite the technological wonders of today’s communication, international relations require us to deal with one another on a person-to-person basis. For this to be effective, one has to overcome language and stereotype barriers. This may require the mental elimination of terms like alien