Glossary: Diversity

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The recognition and appreciation of difference. Diversity is often thought of in terms of obvious attributes such as age, gender and race but it also encompasses less visible differences of background, social class, values and culture.

The general concept of diversity is based on valuing and respecting differences among people. Core diversity categories based on apparent differences are gender, age, ethnic and cultural origin, skin colour (race), religion/world views, sexual orientation and physical abilities. The concept of diversity was developed in response to the exclusion and discrimination of individuals based on judgements (including prejudices and stereotypes) made by others regarding the meaning of their social identities.

According to the concept of diversity, differences are viewed as a potential resource. Individuals with unusual biographies and life experiences bring in new perspectives. In the area of diversity management, this idea is extended and applied to the leadership models and organisational cultures of companies and other institutions, such as public offices, educational establishments and other kinds of organisations. Gender overlaps with all the other social categories. For example, a black Muslim woman in a Christian society may be judged and treated differently than a white Muslim man, or than her white Christian counterpart.

[edit] Source:

Acting PRO(E)QUALITY: Quality Standards for Gender Equality and Diversity Training in the EU (2007). Transnational product developed in the Pro(e)quality partnership established by as part of the EQUAL Community Initiative. Download:"Acting PRO(E)QUALITY" (pdf, en)

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