The definition of diversity is evolving, so what should we be doing?

The Oxford English dictionary describes diversity as ”a range of many people or things that are very different from each other”. We have come a long way, thank goodness, if we compare this to the definition in the 1950’s US, where the meaning of diversity was, “to overcome the inferior position, in law and social treatment, of American blacks”.

Today, having a diverse workforce is not just seen as the right thing to do, it’s seen as a competitive advantage – bringing diversity of thought and disrupting the market in this competitive world that we live in.

As the world changes, we recognise more human differences and through technology and social media these differences are highlighted further. Diversity has evolved to include hidden differences such as learning styles, generations of workers, mental and physical health conditions to name a few, alongside the more traditional diverse groups such as gender, ethnicity and age.

With the definition of diversity evolving, we all need to adapt and think differently as consumers, leaders and employees. At In Diverse Company, we are seeing the following shifts in how organisations are responding to this evolving definition:

Moving from Data to insights: With the new revised UK corporate governance code, the Board now has responsibility for workforce policies and practices that reinforce a healthy culture. Board compliance is starting to move away from merely reporting on people base data and statistics to now actually understanding what is driving this data and using it to develop initiatives that create a diverse and inclusive culture.

Learning styles: Educational institutions and organisational training programmes are proactively incorporating different learning styles into their curriculum. Having a blended learning approach – classroom, written, self study, films, reading etc. – accommodates everyone, however they learn best, developing skills and knowledge to bridge the national skills gap.

Consumers are becoming more powerful: As consumers we want to make our lives easier to enable us to manage our fast-paced lifestyles. We want products for different reasons and for different things, in different ways and at different times. Organisations that listen to their consumers’ differences and build products that embrace these differences are ahead of the competition.

Four, soon to be Five Generations are working together: We hear a lot about the different approaches to work between Gen X and Y.  We are seeing the new generation of workers being more personally aware and open about their mental health. They want to be their best self and are seeking environments that suit them personally to flourish. With talent attraction getting even more competitive, organisations are responding with establishing and developing their culture and advertising their employer brand through their careers page and other digital channels.

With the definition of diversity becoming more complex, what we need now more than ever, is to be able to measure the impact that an inclusive culture is having on an organisation and the wider society in general.


It doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide on the initiatives that make the biggest impact and focus on these first. Celebrate successes such as brilliant and different ideas that your people have come up with and have executed and you will see even more great ideas flourish.

What we’re talking about

Johanna launched In Diverse Company in 2019 out of a strong belief that there was a better way to create and measure inclusive cultures.

We live by our values, and our approach to our own recruitment policy, team and purpose reflects this. We are a tech company driven by a senior team that are experts in people, with one of the only female CEOs of a HR tech platform across the world.

Our Learning Platform, Include™ is the only LXP that combines Learning and Engagement. Include aims to create more inclusive working cultures and is underpinned by social and behavioural psychology principles.