Diversity Management: What is it and Concept in 2024

Diversity management refers to actions that are taken by an organization to promote and encourage the inclusion of employees from various backgrounds into the organization’s structure through the application of specific policies and programs set up by them.

Simply put, it is the act of managing a diverse team of people.

The concept of diversity management involves tolerance and respect, which largely requires an understanding that people are unique in their ways and creating a common ground for coexistence. Organizations as we have seen are now adopting diversity management systems as a response to the ever-growing diversity of the workforce around the globe.

“The best workforce is a diverse workforce.” — Ted Colbert, Boeing’s CIO

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in a survey based on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it was discovered that increasing the workforce diversity and management is a top-level initiative.

  • It stated that in 60% of the companies that were surveyed, the main advocates of workplace diversity and inclusion were found to be the CEOs and top management.
  • A large minority of the respondents, over 42%, also cited the head of human resources (HR) as the main champion for the concept of diversity management.

Ready to start improving your brand culture? Our guide about managing diversity in the workplace provides you with 10 strategies.

Is your company offering inclusive jobs for people with disabilities? As an employer, you can publish your job offers on MyDisabilityJobs and reach thousands of qualified candidates.

Concept of Diversity Management: Brief Insight

The concept of diversity management can be traced back to North America somewhere in the mid-1980s, which then spread to various parts of the world.

Then United States President at the time, Ronald Reagan, had vowed initially to break down the equality and affirmative action laws that were recognized as legal constraints.

The equality and affirmative action employees came together and presented the argument that diversity management should be seen as a competitive benefit to United States companies instead of seeing them as legal constraints.

The discussion entertained research into the concept of diversity as well as the benefits of diversity management. The globalization of the world economy as well as the spread of multinational corporations, brought a new turn into the concept.

Diversity management did not wholly pertain to the heterogeneity of the workforce in one country but rather, to the workforce composition across countries all over the world.

Types of Diversity Management

Now that we’ve seen what is managing workforce diversity in the introductory portion of this article, we’re going to be looking at the types of diversity management below:

Cross-national diversity management

Cross-national, or better put as international diversity management refers to the management of the workforce that constitutes citizens from various countries.

Immigrants from different countries who probably are seeking employment are not left out.

A good example is a US-based company with branches in Canada, Korea, and Japan. Diversity programs and policies which apply in the US headquarters, as well as the overseas offices, will be established by the company.

One of the major challenges of cross-national diversity management is that the head company has the responsibility to consider the legislative and cultural laws in the host countries where it operates, depending also on where employees might be living.

Intranational diversity management

What is managing workforce diversity on an intranational scale about?

Intranational diversity management simply involves managing a workforce that comprises locals or migrants in a single national context.

Diversity projects focus solely on providing employment opportunities to the fewer groups or recent migrants.

For example: a US company may implement strategies and programs to increase sensitivity and provide jobs to minority groups in the country.

So looking at them both, you can tell one is on a larger scale and involves more procedures than the other, but either way, they’re getting a job done which is diversity management.

Characteristics on Diversity Management and How You Can Implement Them

woman in red sweater wearing black framed eyeglasses sitting on wheelchair
Woman in red sweater wearing black-framed eyeglasses sitting on wheelchair

You may be asking yourself, “what is the management of change and diversity in the workplace truly about?”

This is what we’re going to be looking at right here in this section of the article.

Characteristics of Diversity management

Even though you understand diversity management to be an inclusive procedure in the workplace, it is also important you understand what characterizes it so you can better understand its practical implementation.

It provides practical benefits

In the past, diversity management was seen and understood by people as a legal constraint.

But, it is not the case for companies today as diversity strategies are being used to tap into the potential advantage of employees, therefore, giving the company a competitive upper hand in its industry.

Employees are given the chance to bring their skills and talents to the table despite their racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds.

It allows each employee, regardless of his/her race, religion, ethnicity, or origin to bring their talents and skills to the organization.

The ability for broad definition

Legislation and affirmative actions majorly target specific groups, diversity management on the other hand makes use of a broad definition since the metrics relating to diversity are not limited.

This special ability makes diversity programs more inclusive and therefore has very little potential for rejection by people, especially the members of the majority group.

Voluntary actions

True diversity management is a voluntary organizational action.

It is organized personally by organizations that have a workforce that consists of different ethnicities, races, and so on.

Organizations do not need to be coerced or encouraged with benefits for them to carry out their diversity management programs.

Implementing diversity management procedure

white paper with note saying make it happen
White paper with a note saying “make it happen”.

Now how can you implement this diversity management procedure in your workplace as a CEO or Human Resource Head or even a Manager to get practical results?

Here are a few tips you can consider:

  • Make it clear and crisp that diversity management is an important part of the company’s objectives. You can do this by sponsoring, participating in, or organizing campaigns that are inclusive especially on relevant societal issues such as LGBT, female empowerment, and so on.
  • Set up avenues in your organization where people from similar backgrounds and positions can relate, socialize and share concerns while feeling safe while giving a listening ear to them as the management.
  • Be sure to source for new talents. Don’t be limited to the traditional methods of sourcing for fresh talents, you can dive into areas like veterans leaving the military for example, or people from other countries and even ex-convicts if possible. As long as they can get the job done, they deserve a chance.
  • Diversity is more proactive than reactive. Instead of just leaning on government policies that provide opportunities for diversity, the organization should be unique in its way of carrying out diversity practices. That way it feels more genuine to the people and they can trust it better.

Is your company offering inclusive jobs for people with disabilities? As an employer, you can publish your job offers on MyDisabilityJobs and reach thousands of qualified candidates.


It is important to note that a diverse workforce helps an organization to better serve their clients from all over the world since a team of diverse employees can understand their needs better as those of similar backgrounds relate with each other. Clients not being satisfied will be a rare case.

Technological advancements can now allow companies to hire and manage workers from different time zones around the world easier and efficiently.

Programs and policies are being designed to improve employee inclusion, promotion, and retention, who come from different cultural backgrounds.

The reason for this is to create a welcoming environment for groups of people that could not get access to employment and more lucrative jobs in the past. Also, it’s important to note that there are many benefits to hiring people with disabilities.

Related articles:

Diversity Recruiting Strategies and How to Recruit Diverse Candidates

Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace & How to Overcome Them

Disability in the Workplace: Developing Accessibility in 10 Ways

Fostering Diversity in the Workplace : How to Do it in 10 Ways

Diversity and Inclusion Topics for Discussion: 9 Talking Points

Managing Diversity in the Workplace: 10 Strategies in 2024

Inclusive Behaviors in The Workplace | 15 Ways to Promote it

Fostering Inclusion : Work Environment | 12 Ways to do it

Benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace

DEI Training & Topics: What is it & Implementing Strategies

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