Expanding Your Definition of Diversity

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Having a working diversity program is good for business. Employers benefit from a workforce whose different races and cultural backgrounds bring fresh perspectives borne of unique life experiences and viewpoints that advance problem solving and can effectuate a “yin/yang” harmony within its walls. Overall, the organization has better morale, higher productivity and is more financially viable.

Employers who make efforts to diversify their workplace often tend to limit their definition to race, gender, and national origin. Diversity becomes a murkier idea when employers are tasked with determining broader interpretations of the concept, such as appearance and physical characteristics, voice and speech impediments, and varying lifestyle choices and beliefs. Unless these traits fit the legal definition of disability (which otherwise could lead to repercussions for the failure to integrate), there may be little thought or effort dedicated to affirmatively adding diversity in these respects to the workforce.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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