One-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work where diversity is concerned 

today2022.02.06. 265


Inclusive institutions and structures are needed to go beyond the “illusion” of diversity

International Labour Organization (ILO) has recently published “The Future of Diversity”, an insightful e-book that brings together the perspectives of scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, from both the world of work and academia.

The publication offers new, rich perspectives on the concept of diversity and the role diversity can play in the world of work of the future. Scholars and practitioners from various disciplines and backgrounds reflect on the most appropriate interventions to create a more inclusive labour market for all. They explore the economic case for diversity and diversity management strategies, finding that diversity and inclusion must go hand in hand.

The authors show that biases and stereotypes that lead to discrimination and violence – whether in blatant or more subtle forms such as microaggressions – are a major impediment to diversity. However, cultural change in the workplace cannot be obtained with one-off policies and the effectiveness of pro-diversity initiatives may depend on variables outside the labour market. Legal protections from discrimination and provisions for equal opportunities for “diverse persons” are often not enough to deliver outcomes of equality and inclusion.

The book also sheds light on the policy dilemma between respecting individuals with all their particularities and countering structural inequalities, which often requires categorization into groups.

The authors remind us that there is diversity within diversity: not everyone receiving the same label has the same needs.

The book covers issues such as gender equality and mainstreaming, migration and ethnic diversity, racism, violence against LGBTI people and age discrimination. Tools used in one area to overcome exclusion are often also applicable in others. The future of diversity is thus a rich source of inspiration for anyone wishing to move towards greater justice in the labour market.

Download the EBook from ILO website.

Written by: Mihaly Nagy

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