The Recruiter’s Guide to Different Types of Workplace Diversity

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In the present times, companies across the United States have started to embrace diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives to enhance company culture and attract job seekers.

Rightly so, workplace diversity essentially plays a massive role in helping build people-centric and result-driven workplaces in the long run. As many as 80% of workers  who participated in the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey said they want to work for a truly diverse workplace.

However, more recruiters need to realize that diversity isn’t just related to gender, culture, and race. It goes way beyond these factors when looking at employment data.

Below, we look at the different types of diversity in the workplace that can help talent acquisition leaders to attract and retain good candidates, and in doing so, strengthen their employer brand.

1) Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are one of the most common types of diversity in the workplace. It plays a massive role in deciding how inclusive a workplace is and how much progress it can make on the business side. According to McKinsey and Company, ethnically and racially diverse organizations have a 35% higher probability of performing better .

Race is a person’s biological identity, including physical characteristics such as hair type or skin color. On the other hand, ethnicity is more about a person’s cultural background. The latter encompasses multiple ethnic or racial identities and is more about cultural or geographic history.

Considering the long, complicated, and controversial history of race in the US and its influence, it is crucial that every single employee on your team feels heard and welcomed. Employers can only achieve this through an inclusive environment and a diverse workforce.

One recent research study  conducted by the Pew Research Center assessed the views of different ethnic groups (Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics) concerning workplace diversity. The study found that nearly 49% of American adults say it is essential for companies to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace.

2) Age and Generation

Companies often, knowingly or unknowingly, engage in age bias.

Age is usually categorized based on generational demographics such as Generation X, Baby Boomers, Generation Y, Generation Z, or millennials.

While it isn’t always necessary that people from the same age group think in a similar pattern, two people of the same age possess certain behavioral similarities. People who are similar in age also share similarities in unobserved attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. 

For example, recruiting from university campuses alone may block older workers who may also be entry-level employees of equal opportunity. On the contrary, when you only try to fill your open positions with experienced people based on age, you may leave out young people who also have the experience required for the job.

Due to all these reasons, talent acquisition professionals must understand and create a diverse environment  by employing people across different generations to sustain a diverse workforce.

3) Gender and Gender Identity

Today, women account for approximately 46.8% of the US labor force . Yet, astaggering 42%  (i.e., roughly about 4 in 10 women) say they have faced gender discrimination at some point in their professional career.

Another essential facet of gender and gender-identity-based diversity is finding ways to make the transgender and gender-neutral population feel inclusive.

As an HR leader, you need to look at ways to be more accommodating with your policies and realize that gender equality plays a crucial role in determining how good your employees’ mental health is and how content they feel in the workplace.

Over the years, various studieshave shown that the more organizations focus on gender diversity, the better it is for both female and male employees. When your workforce is happier, you’ll have a lower turnover rate and a higher satisfaction rate. It’s all interrelated and affects your overall organizational diversity at more levels than one.

Therefore, HR leaders should build a workforce that’s diverse on the gender and identity front.

4) Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation discrimination occurs when an employee gets subjected to harassment, adverse employment action, or denial of certain benefits because of their sexual orientation.

While 22 US states and the District of Columbia now have laws explicitly aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ workers from being fired based on their sexual orientation, there still are 28 states that allow an employee who identifies as LGBTQ+ to be terminated simply because of their sexual orientation.

Termination based on an employee’s sexual orientation is a serious issue. It can also negatively impact a business and cause the entire workforce to lose faith in its inclusivity policies.

As a talent acquisition leader, you must educate yourself and your employees on workplace diversity best practices related to various sexual backgrounds and interests. Create an environment where people aren’t scared to talk to you if they face such harassment.

5) Religious and Spiritual Beliefs

Any workforce is a collection of people belonging to and following various religions. It is possible that several employees on your team also choose to abide by specific religious practices.

As outlined by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

“Practices may be based on theistic and religious beliefs or non-theistic moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right or wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. Religious observances or practices include, for example, attending worship services, praying, wearing religious garb or symbols, displaying religious objects, adhering to certain dietary rules, proselytizing or other forms of religious expression, or refraining from certain activities.

One 2020 article  published on the official website of goes on to explain how religious accommodation involves and provides employees and applicants with protection from harassment and discrimination in the workplace:

“By adopting policies and practices that respect all religious beliefs and by accommodating employees’ beliefs when possible, employers can improve employee morale and increase productivity while reducing the risk of legal problems.

Studies and data show that when employers address religion—when they actually tackle it head-on and not pretend it is not there—employees are happier, and these companies are more likely to attract the best and the brightest.”

So if you want to attract top talent to your business, don’t ignore everyone’s different religious beliefs.

Incorporate Workplace Diversity at Your Business

There are more than five of these types of diversity in the workforce. Others include cultural diversity, organizational diversity, functional diversity, political beliefs, worldview diversity, socioeconomic status, personal interests, and educational background.

Workplaces that promote diversity will also be termed more inclusive and achieve positive business outcomes such as low turnover rates, higher retention rates, greater return on investment (ROI), mitigated time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, and a streamlined hiring process in the long run.

If you want to enhance your company’s internal diversity with a few simple yet effective practices, get in touch with us at  today!

We will be happy to guide you with your hiring queries so that we can together build employee-centric workplaces.

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