Chapter 1: Introducing Workplace Diversity

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Analyze organizational best practices on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

School diversity many hands held together” by Wonder woman0731 is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

What is diversity? A Review:

Diversity is the inclusion of people who identify themselves differently, including but not limited to: race, gender, sexuality, religion or spirituality, and age. Diversity should be a welcomed concept in all parts of life, including the workplace.

Before diving into what it means to have a diverse and inclusive organizational culture, some terms and their definitions need to be discussed.

  1. Managing Diversity: this means an organization is ensuring that members of diverse groups are valued and treated fairly in all parts of the environment.
  2. Valuing Diversity: Often used to reflect the ways in which organizations show appreciation for diversity among applicants, employees, and customers.
  3. Inclusion: degree to which employees are accepted and treated fairly by an organization.
  4. Surface-level Diversity: includes characteristics of individuals that are readily visible to anyone.
  5. Deep-level Diversity: characteristics that are not observable, like attitude, values, and beliefs.
  6. Equity: an approach that recognizes that the systemic barriers posed for a particular person will vary; equity recognizes that different people will need different amounts of resources in order to succeed and overcome.
  7. Belonging: the experience of personal involvement in a system or environment to the point they feel themselves to be an integral part of that system.

Diversity is not a just a thing to do, it is a mindset and approach that unites ethical management and high performance. It is an organizational strength, not a mere slogan or form of compliance with the law. Diversity means including talent from a wide demographic spectrum and including all employees in every aspect of the organization.

Team of business people stacking hands” by Rawpixel Ltd is licensed under CC-BY 2.0.

So, how does a leader create a culture of inclusion? What are some best practices for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?

  • Create a culture of inclusion with attention to key practices.
    • Ongoing professional development so that everyone is consistently learning and developing skills linked to inclusion.
    • Adapt routines to make inclusion a foundational element in the workplace.
  • Set clear expectations.
    • The expectations should be measurable, here are some examples:
      • My manager asks my opinion about the work I complete.
      • My manager acknowledges my contributions.
      • My manager demonstrates concern about my success.
    • Conduct thorough evaluations, provide professional development, and integrate learning opportunities at all levels of the organization.
  • Align the mission to advance equity.
    • Organizations must abandon one-size-fits-all mindset and tailor services to community members unique conditions and cultural factors.
    • Being an inclusive leader, means an adaptive playbook for equity and the support of the board. Read more about strategies for the workplace.

Analyzing Organizational Best Practices on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Review the criteria below for designing sound policies. Consider these items as you continue through the course. Would these criteria be beneficial when analyzing best practices regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? What would you change, if anything? If you were building a rubric for evaluating practices related to this content, what would you include?

Criteria Information
Programmatic Assessment A well-developed and empirically feasible public value proposition and theory of change underpins the policy. Achievement of the policy’s intended and/or of other beneficial social outcomes. Costs/benefits associated with the policy are distributed equitably in society.
Process Assessment The policy process allows for rigorous deliberation about the relevant values and interests; the hierarchy of goals and objectives; contextual constraints; the mix of policy instruments and the institutional arrangements for effective policy implementation. Decision-making processes incorporated balanced consideration of a wide range of evidence, expertise, and advice.
Political Assessment A relatively broad and deep political coalition supports the policy’s value proposition, instruments, and current results. Association with the policy enhances the political capital of the responsible policy-makers. Association with the policy enhances the organizational reputation of the relevant public agencies.
Temporal Assessment Endurance of the policy’s value proposition (the proposed ‘high-level’ ends-means relationships underpinning its rationale and design, combined with the flexible adaptation of its ‘on-the-ground’ and ‘programmatic’ features to changing circumstances and in relation to performance feedback). Degree to which the policy’s programmatic, process, and political performance is maintained over time Degree to which the policy confers legitimacy on the broader political system


Additional Learning Materials:


  1. Queensland Government Inclusion and Diversity Commitment (2 pages) (LO1)


  1. Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important? (7:59) (LO1)
  2. The Playbook for Humanizing Diversity and Inclusion (19:16) (LO1)


  1. Diversity, Inclusion, and & Equity at SAP, How We Practice What We Preach (25:55) (LO1)


References for Remixed Content:

Compton, M., Leutjens, J., and Hart, P. (2019). Designing for policy success. International Review of Public Policy. Retrieved January 26, 2022 from

Hernandez, M. (2019). How to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into everyday operations. The Bridgespan Group. Retrieved January 25, 2022 from

OpenStax (n.d.). Organizational behavior. OpenStax. Retrieved January 26, 2022 from

OpenStax (n.d.). Principles of management. OpenStax. Retrieved January 26, 2022 from

Rice University (n.d.). Business ethics. Open Edition. Retrieved January 26, 2022 from





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