DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Since the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) anti-discrimination has been a focus in policy making on European level. Almost 25 years later, Diversity Management or Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), how it is now often called, became a widely spread practice in the corporate world. Legal requirements in form of EU anti-discrimination directives as well as voluntary engagement constitute a solid basis for numerous initiatives and approaches implemented across different European member states.
The concept of diversity has evolved over time and may vary depending on the local context, industry and business needs. Despite the different definitions of diversity and inclusion, several core dimensions can be identified. DIVERSITY includes differences in age, sex, ethnicity, ability (physical and mental), sexual orientation and religion. More holistic concepts also include differences in socioeconomic status, gender identity and body image.
However, in the organizational context, it is not enough to only embrace diversity. Organizations and all people working in it need to guarantee that everyone within the organization, regardless of their characteristics and lifestyle, feels fully integrated and has the opportunity to develop inside the organization. INCLUSION means our will, ability and competence to understand, value and maximize all facets of diversity.