Diversity has often been seen either as a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy or as a ‘value-add’ program within organisations. Though both views do have some positive dividends, they do not however spell out the complete scope of diversity and what it actually covers. Whilst Diversity may incorporate CSR and add value to organisational processes, it actually transcends merely doing a ‘good deed’ in the community via CSR strategies as well as surpasses simply adding value to individual organisational programs.
Diversity literally covers every aspect of an organisations life and functioning. This is so because organisations are no greater than their people, and the management and development of people towards productive and profitable ends must bear in mind, as a matter of necessity, the creative abilities (or talent) individuals have as a consequence of their socio-cultural experiences, which organisations need in order to keep on developing and thus remain relevant and competitive in today’s global workplace. This idea sits at the very epicentre of the scope of what diversity covers.
Consequently, as it is an organisation’s people who manage the different organisational functions (HR, Finance, Payroll , Sales, Marketing, etc) ensuring they deliver the core business objectives, the scope of diversity literally involves all areas within the business operated by people ensuring each operates effectively. This is why the scope of diversity covers all areas of the employee life cycle from the time an individual is recruited to when they depart an organisation, as well as everything that happens in between. In essence then, the scope of diversity involves every single aspect of an organisation’s life, including the very brand of the organisation through which it interacts and provides services to its customers, present and potential.
By way of a simple analogy, the scope of diversity is a bit like a blank piece of paper upon which all its business processes, policies and procedures are initially written. It lays the very foundation for organisational growth without which the organisation becomes stale, stagnant and ineffective.