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How to: Manage Diversity Effectively

30 Oct 2011

Recommendations for success

These best practice examples as well as a number of studies (1, 2, 3) all show that effective diversity management should be an integrated part of an organisation’s strategy and daily operations if they are to avoid turning into politically correct statements with little or no action behind them.  Five main recommendations for organisations seeking to create an effective diversity management programme are consequently to:

  1. Rethink diversity management so it is not limited to the HR function. Successful diversity management engages with all business processes and stakeholders.
  2. Create a dedicated diversity function, post or department, depending on the size of the organisation.
  3. Make diversity part of the overall strategy, but also consider how to implement it.
  4. Split diversity management initiatives into several stages: information gathering, policy-making, practice and assessment.
  5. Provide diversity training throughout the workforce, instead of limiting it to the managerial level. Diversity can also be incorporated into mentoring efforts, leadership training and management-by-results programs.

Successful diversity management and implementation can be a time-consuming process, but with the right strategic approach, it will be a rewarding course of action which puts the organisation firmly on track for long-term competitive advantage.


(1) CIPD, Diversity in Business: A focus for progress and Labour Market Outlook, both 2007
A barometer of HR trends and prospects, 2008

(2) M. Ozbilgin, A. Tatli, D. Worman & G. Mulholland, Managing diversity in practice: supporting business goals. 'Research into practice' report., CIPD, 2007.

(3) Neil E. Reichenberg, Best Practices in Diversity Management, United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Managing Diversity in the Civil Service, New York, 2001



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