Everyone is a unique person. Even though people have things in common with each other they are also different in all sorts of ways. Differences include visible and non-visible factors, for example, personal characteristics such as background, culture, personality, and work-style, size, accent, language and so on. A number of personal characteristics are covered by discrimination law to give people protection against being treated unfairly. The ‘protected characteristics’ are race, disability, gender reassignment, sex, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age.
CIPD defines managing diversity as valuing everyone as an individual – valuing people as employees, customers and clients.
It is important to recognise that a ‘one-size-fits all' approach to managing people does not achieve fairness and equality of opportunity for everyone. People have different personal needs, values and beliefs. Good people management practice demands that people propositions are both consistently fair but also flexible and inclusive in ways that are designed to support business needs.