An introduction to the challenges and opportunities of managing a diverse workforce with practical guidance on effective diversity management
Promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management - it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion 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 and inclusion means in the workplace and how an effective strategy can support an organisation’s business objectives. We look at the rationale for action, and then outline the steps organisations can take to implement and manage a successful diversity and inclusion strategy, from communication and training to addressing workplace behaviour and evaluating progress.
This factsheet was last updated by Alan Beazley of The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) and by Dr Jill Miller.
The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei)
The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) is the UK's leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion in the workplace, focused on delivering high quality practical advice, products and services to our members. We seek to encourage best practice to enable organisations and people to prosper by valuing difference in the workplace.
Dr Jill Miller: Diversity and Inclusion Adviser
Jill joined the CIPD in 2008. Her role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with policy makers, academics and practitioners to inform projects and shape thinking.
She frequently presents on key people management issues, leads discussions and workshops, and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists, on radio and TV. She specialises in diversity and inclusion, employee well-being, people management in SMEs and future HR trends.
Explore our related content
Episode 112: The episodes in this month’s mini-series focus on the experiences of professionals in the LGBT community, the challenges they’ve faced and the role they believe HR can play in developing inclusive workplaces.
A guide for employers which provides insights to help progress diversity and inclusion in organisations
A discussion of the pros and cons of quotas and other affirmative action policies, reviewing evidence from politics education and the workplace
Disability Confident employer
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.
Stonewall Global Diversity Champion
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.