Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the Workplace – Part 1 of 3

D&I in Workplace

For an organization looking to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workplace, it is important to understand what constitutes workplace diversity.

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between individuals in an organization. Diversity not only includes how individuals identify themselves but also how others perceive them. Diversity within a workplace encompasses race, gender, ethnic groups, age, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship status, military service, and mental and physical conditions, as well as other distinct differences between people.

Types of Diversity in the Workplace

There are many factors that play into diversity—some things are visible on the outside, while others are just a part of the way people were born and the impact their ecosystem and community have had on them. These distinctions are the grounds for how the four categories of diversity were created.

#1 Internal Diversity

Internal diversity characteristics are ones related to situations that a person is born into.
They are things that a person didn’t choose for themselves and are impossible for
anyone to change.  They are impacts from their cultural upbringing, the eco-system and community they grow-up or live in. This leads to certain beliefs and perceptions they build without being conscious or aware of them.

#2 External Diversity

In the context of diversity, the term external is used to describe things that are related to a person but aren’t characteristics that a person was born with. While external diversity can be heavily influenced by other people and their surroundings, even forcibly so, they are ultimately aspects that a person can change, and often do, over time.  This is more related to external experiences that occur whether one lives in a small town with limited exposure, or they are an avid traveller with a broader perspective, and anywhere in between.

#3 Organizational Diversity

Organizational diversity, also called functional diversity, relates to the differences between people that are assigned to them by an organization—essentially, these are the characteristics within a workplace that distinguish one employee from another based on their pay, position, and nature of work whether you’re working for a private, non-profit, public sector, or governmental organization.

#4 Worldview Diversity

The fourth type of diversity is commonly known as worldview. Even though there are a multitude of factors that come together to form our worldview, including our internal, external, and organizational diversity characteristics, at the end of the day, everyone has a worldview that they align with. Worldview diversity is another diversity type that changes with time—we conceptualize the world differently as we gain experiences and learn more about ourselves an each other. With the digitization of many current offerings, an increased number of people are developing a more global perspective.

Examples of Different Type of Diversity:


Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 67 percent of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers and 57 percent of employees think their companies should be more diverse. These numbers are telling. Not only can organizations fill positions with qualified candidates more quickly by recruiting from multiple talent pools, but a diverse workforce also benefits their employer brand which is crucial when it comes to getting the right talent.  The increased tendency of companies to hire remote workers has opened the market both for those doing the hiring and those being hired.


  • Employees from diverse backgrounds imbue organizations with creative, new ideas and perspectives informed by their cultural experiences
  • Employers have a larger talent pool to hire from, thus expediting the hiring process and improving the employee teams
  • A diverse workplace will help organizations better understand target demographics and what moves them
  • A diverse workplace can better align an organization’s culture with the demographic make-up of America
  • Increased customer satisfaction by improving how employees interact with a more diverse clientele and public

Don’t Forget to check “Part 2 of 3” for more information on Diversity in the Workplace.

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