Diversity FAQ’s No 1: How is Diversity to be defined and why is it important?

There are a varied number of definitions of what diversity is and how it is to be understood stretching from a legislative understanding to a philosophical one. In essence however, Diversity is understood to be about the differences in values, ethics, attitudes, culture, sexuality, skills, knowledge, belief systems, life experiences and general ways of doing and living that belong to a particular individual as a key member of society.

These variables mentioned above, stem from, and are intricately connected to, the various ideas each individual possesses as a human being. Indeed, the distinctive contribution each person brings to the ‘organisational table’ is fundamentally based on their ability to maximise  these variables leading to the uniqueness of each person. This is why the concept of diversity is intricately connected with the idea of creativity.

The importance of diversity particularly within organisations therefore, is crucial.: its importance is based upon the thinking that for organisations to maximise their performance and compete in  the 21st century ‘global’ workplace, they need individuals from varied socio-cultural backgrounds with the creative ideas they ‘naturally’ possess to inform the continued development of organisational strategy, thereby ensuring its relevance to a diverse customer base.

This will not only ensure the production of fresh and cutting edge strategic thinking within organisations given the diversification of its people, but in addition, will lead to greater employee engagement and productivity, and therefore greater internal and external brand perception – culminating in greater financial investments returns (ROI).

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