Diversity vs. Discrimination in HR

I recently read a HR Magazine article looking at whether diversity is used as a business strategy or just a ‘nice thing to do’.  Many strands of diversity are, in fact, strands of discrimination. What are the boundaries, if any? And how do we differentiate between the two?

The Equality Act October 2010 harmonises and replaces previous legislation, providing equal opportunities in the workplace and reducing socio-economic inequalities.  This is extended further with the introduction of ‘protected characteristics’ as set out below:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Race
  5. Religion or belief
  6. Sex
  7. Sexual orientation
  8. Marriage and Civil partnership
  9. Pregnancy and maternity

Similarly, the HR Magazine’s questionnaire will investigate the following strands of diversity:

  1. Sexual orientation
  2. Age
  3. Disability
  4. Gender
  5. Race
  6. Nationality
  7. Religion 

The ‘protected characteristics’ are identical to the strands companies focus on when looking to diversify their workforce.  Therefore, if a business is actively looking to diversify its team with, for example, race and or religion, this can be done by taking a positive action but not through positive discrimination.

Businesses are aware they have a corporate and social responsibility but is this merely for ‘show’ and to abide by political correctness or to essentially recruit a range of talents across varying sectors?

The HR Diversity Survey will shed some light over this as they explore what HR leaders believe to be the drivers of diversity in their business.  For further information and to take part in the questionnaire, visit HR Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>