Evolution of Workplace Diversity

Evolution of Workplace Diversity


In the U.S., the idea of workplace diversity began to take root during the civil rights movement to address policies that allowed organizations to exclude certain groups of people from the workplace and other institutions.



A number of laws and policies have been designed to address and remedy this, including laws addressing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, national origin, and religion; and laws addressing issues such as equal pay and maternity protection.

But as labor and customer markets become increasingly diverse, organizations are directing more attention to not only building equality across the workforce, but also realizing the benefits of diversity that research shows can enhance creativity & innovation, team performance, employee engagement, and business performance, serving everyone across an organization.

For insight into the history and evolution of corporate diversity programs, see the study by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev: The Origins and Effects of Corporate Diversity Programs.




Dobbin, Frank, & Alexandra Kalev, The Origins and Effects of Corporate Diversity Programs, Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work, Quinetta M. Roberson (ed.), Oxford University Press, New York, 2013, pp. 253-281.