What are the primary dimensions of diversity

Dimensions of diversity

The focus of the management approach is on those features that are also referred to as discrimination features in the General Equal Opportunities Act (AGG). These criteria, with regard to which people differ, are recorded in the so-called diversity dimensions. A widespread model that depicts the dimensions of diversity is the 'Four Layers of Diversity' according to Gardenswartz and Rowe. According to this, people can differ or resemble one another on very different levels, with the dimensions representing the complexity of the differences and similarities (see figure, model of the '4 Layers of Diversity' (Gardenwartz 2002)). In the center of the 'Four Layers of Diversity' represents the personality of the person. The inner dimension describes unchangeable properties such as age, gender, skin color and sexual orientation. This dimension refers to mostly immediately perceptible features and biological characteristics, which are for the most part recognizable in physical imprints. The outer dimension includes properties such as marital status, professional experience and income and thus properties that are firstly changeable and secondly not immediately recognizable. Finally, the organizational dimension contains the characteristics that are related to the respective organization, such as place of work, function and length of membership.

Although 40% of companies understand diversity only as visible aspects such as gender and age, 60% advocate a holistic definition that also includes the variety of skills and working methods. to recognize and use through inclusion, it is important to also grasp the personality of a person as a holistic construct and to include the visible and invisible properties as far as possible.

All of these dimensions are important, but current developments indicate that certain dimensions will gain enormously in importance in the future. Demographic change and the extension of working life mean that age diversity will be of particular importance in the future. Various empirical studies have shown that the dimensions of gender and age are either currently the most relevant internationally or at least the most important in the future. Due to its increasing relevance, I have decided to focus on treating age as a characteristic of diversity as part of my training concept.