Characteristics and Differences of Managing Gender and Diversity

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[edit] Common Characteristics

Both strategies, Gender Mainstreaming (GM) and Diversity Management (DiM), show common characteristics. They both were developed to fulfill more than the needs of or disfavoured groups of people and demands of minority groups. The strategies focus on the various and varied potential of individuals and to advance and promote these potentials. Therefore, both recognize and promote the individuality of people and the diversity of ways of live. The principle used in GM and DiM for implementation is the Top-Down-Principle, which means gender and diversity change in the organisation, companies and states is initiated by the head of the institutions. Implementation lies mainly in the hands of the upper management and the executives but needs the Bottom-Up-Principle (initative to change also coming from the workers and employees and other relevant people).

[edit] Differences

Gender Mainstreaming, as the term says, puts the gender-category into focus. Other categories therefore are seen in their relation to gender ( Intersectionality). Diversity Management takes all relevant social and structural categories and tries to deal with them in their relations. In practical terms, a fair deal with all categories cannot always been guaranteed, as sometimes one category can show more importance or pertinence than the other. Giving the fact that categories can therefore be easily seen as 'natural', a gender-perspective would allow to reflect on all points more thoroughly and would also allow to avoid other stereotypical forthgoing. Another point of difference is that Gender Mainstreaming should reach all people on all levels and all (working) areas and should facilitate these people to achieve gender equality- the strategy therefore is transversal and cross-sectional. Diversity Management in this respect concentrates more on the interna, e.g. human ressource developement and management, product management and public relations and often concentrates on the (economical) outcome of change.

[edit] Conclusion

The differences in the strategies result largely of their different historical backgrounds and their different implementation in Germany. Gender Mainstreaming is therefore a result of the international women's movement and development policy and concentrates on empowerment of groups of people. Diversity Management however is mostly used as a management strategy to achieve efficiency in companies. Also critical can be that Diversity is still not anchored in theory, whereas gender is widely discussed and enrooted.

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