There is more to diversity than visible characteristics

It was disheartening to read the comment in your ‘Have a rant’ section (Personnel Today, 10 January), as it supports the rather narrow view that diversity is just down to visible characteristics such as race, gender and age.

There is more to diversity than the easily labelled differences that HR policies tend to address. The less visible differences between people have a powerful impact and the most successful organisations recognise this as a source of competitive advantage.

Kamlesh Patel, chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission, has stated that what people want is not so much to be treated the same but to be treated fairly, and want differences respected.

Diversity is far more complex than the categories most equal opportunities statistics will report, and it’s vital that HR addresses this.
While there is a moral case for diversity, and the need to comply with legislation, the business case lies in the fact that making diversity matter can deliver great results for everyone.

Hilary Rowland
Senior consultant

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