What is Diversity? More Than Meets the Eye

Discussions about diversity and inclusion in businesses and institutions have been going on for decades — Fair360, formerly DiversityInc has been advocating for both since 1998. In 2020, as movements against racial injustice have demanded further reckoning, businesses across the country were challenged even more than ever to show a dedication to diversity beyond half-hearted window dressings. But this renewed push for change has also brought about the need for even further discussion on the fundamental principles of the movement itself. For starters, what exactly is diversity? Is it simply skin-deep or does it go further than what is immediately visible?

Diversity is the idea that a group of people who have different life experiences and backgrounds can work together and be regarded as equals. It’s an idea that benefits culture, community and the working world. As research has shown us over and over again, businesses that have diverse workforces have significantly more success than businesses that don’t.

The Importance of Racial, Ethnic and Gender Representation

Fair360, formerly DiversityInc was founded by Luke Visconti, a white man — and an Air Force veteran with a non-combat-related mobility impairment. From his headshot, one might not consider him to be “diverse.” But therein lies another issue: Individuals are not diverse; groups are. Diversity means that you might have cisgender white men on your team, along with a rainbow of races and ethnicities; a spectrum of genders and sexual orientations; as well as a range of abilities, ages and individuals with varying life experiences. Diversity is a mosaic, not a monolith. What matters is that all people from all cultures and walks of life are represented — that we are all heard, have a fair chance to succeed and everyone is treated fairly and equally in all that we do and hope to achieve.

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