Diversity is proactive and always imperative. It does not only become important when there is a discrimination complaint. That’s one reason why we talk about diversity and inclusion because diversity in organizations is often just based on what is visible, or on only one dimension of an employee’s background.
This doesn’t allow room for what people bring to the organization in terms of what’s below what you can see; creativity, experiences, innovation and communication.
If we really value the diversity that is in organizations, we need to understand what we are valuing and not just be glad to avoid discrimination lawsuits.
Roosevelt Thomas said that diversity should be managed in that good leaders know how to use the diverse backgrounds, skills and experiences to build a more successful organization. I like the term diversity management as opposed to managing diversity. They have two different meanings to me.
Managing diversity sounds like an obligation. Diversity management sounds like knowing how to use all the ingredients to make the best dish.