Diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management. It’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement.

This factsheet explores what diversity means in the workplace and how an effective diversity and inclusion strategy can support an organisation’s business objectives. We look at the business case for diversity, and specifically how it impacts on people management issues, market competitiveness and organisational reputation. Finally, we outline the steps organisations can take to implement and manage a successful diversity strategy, from communication and training to addressing workplace behaviour and evaluating progress.

CIPD viewpoint

What is diversity?

The social justice or equality case for diversity

The business case for diversity

Managing diversity

Useful contacts and further reading

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The CIPD is a Disability Confident employer. We work with the DWP and lead the way in changing attitudes towards disability, and to encourage all employers to provide opportunities to ensure that people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions are able to fulfil their potential at work. We regularly review our own people practices and approaches to ensure that our workplace is as open, diverse, accessible and inclusive as possible. 

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The CIPD is a member of Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme, working together to ensure that we are an LGBT+ inclusive employer and membership organisation across our UK and International communities. Our principles – work matters, people matter and professionalism matters – enshrine our belief that good work is safe and inclusive.

Stonewall and the CIPD share the vision that by embedding inclusive values, organisations can drive higher levels of wellbeing, motivation, satisfaction and productivity. Our ambition is to ensure that all of our staff and volunteers feel confident and comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work - because people perform better when they can be themselves. 

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