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By almost any measure, workforce heterogeneity is increasing. With more women, ethnic and racial. minorities, and people with different lifestyles and learning styles holding down jobs, employers are searching for strategies that effectively and efficiently put these varied skills and perspectives to maximal use. Traditional approaches to diversity management include targeted recruitment, career development, mentoring, and education and training. Some organizations, however, take a broader view and seek to eliminate barriers to full utilization of varied worker competencies. This latter approach stresses inclusion, rather than diversity, and typically involves initiatives that focus on employee participation, enhanced communication, and stronger community relations. Despite the apparent distinction between diversity and inclusion strategies, employers may use the words interchangeably.


Suggested Citation
Roberson, Q. M. (2006). Diversity and inclusion: Is there really a difference? (ILR Impact Brief #14). Ithaca, NY: School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.

The ILR Impact Brief series highlights the research and project based work conducted by ILR faculty that is relevant to workplace issues and public policy. The Briefs are prepared by Maralyn Edid, Senior Extension Associate, ILR School.

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by Cornell University.