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Is gender diversity stealing all the air from wider diversity issues? My take on a HR leaders blog, and the link between gender and wider diversity

I have recently read a really interesting article on the human resources leader blog by Angela Priestly that investigates if the increasing focus on gender diversity in business distracts attention from other diversity needs such as sexuality or cultural diversity.

She recognizes the improvement made in law firms in regards to gender diversity (although women still make up only 8% of executives and board members in top publically listed companies), and questions whether if “the focus on the number of women in senior positions within a company detract[s] from the wider issue of diversity?”

I think this is an important question, and we do know is that gender diversity is the key lead indicator to other aspects of diversity. I agree it’s definitely not the only issue, but it’s a great starting place and one that we must continue to push for. Especially because women make up 52% of the population, and include many cultural backgrounds and the full scope of sexual orientations – it’s hard enough for people from diverse cultural background or sexual orientations to progress their careers in some fields without also being discriminated against as a woman.

She also reports on the findings of a study that worked with 506 for-profit American companies, with findings that indicate that better diversity in all fields improves and encourages innovation, creativity and better customer service.


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