The 13 Areas of Diversity Every Recruiter Needs to Know

8 minute read

Posted by Chris Platts on 13 August 2020

Diversity is often a buzzword many companies use to promote their recruitment campaigns and employer branding strategies. 

At the same time, the hunt for diversity, first and foremost, leans toward racial diversity. Many businesses believe they have diverse teams if they are diverse in the colour of people’s skin. 


Diversity does not stop at race. Diversity covers many areas, and a truly diverse workforce can do much more than add to your employer branding. 

Why is diversity important in the workplace?

In fleshing out a diverse workforce, you bring new cultures, experiences, and viewpoints to the table- ensuring an inclusive and creative business that leads with empathy toward all people. 

Plus, companies with a diverse workforce are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability. There’s your answer if you’re ever struggling to build a business case for diverse-first recruitment tools.

Unbias recruitment software

In this article, we’ll explore the areas of diversity any recruiter needs to consider to help build a diverse team they can champion. Some of these areas may surprise you. Happy hiring. 

Areas of diversity to include when recruiting

1. Race & Ethnicity 

These two factors are often considered the same, so let’s clarify the differences. Race comes from biological heritage; it determines the color of someone’s skin and physical features. However, ethnicity is a learned cultural trait. 

Why are the two often put together? They cross over when someone identifies themselves. For example, someone born in the USA but has parents from Uganda could identify as racially black or African but ethnically American. In discussing your culture, you often discuss your race and ethnicity. 

2. Identifying gender & gender expression

We are thrilled to see these two diverse factors expressed more and depicted positively in mainstream media. Gender as a construct is being questioned more and more, with younger generations adopting a fluid and freer outlook earlier in life. 

When hiring, consider if you’re inclusive of genders people identify as and genders, people choose to express with their actions and physical appearance. 

Something to consider is building out unbiased testing opportunities. These tests will enable your recruitment team to see whether someone is a capable fit for your business despite their identifying gender or expression. 

Gender Bias Report

3. Disability

There are many areas of disability to be aware of, with some more commonly known and discussed than others. Everyone should have the chance to disclose (or not) their disability, and someone should be comfortable taking either action. 

If someone does choose to disclose their disability, your company should have a support system in place to accommodate them and ensure they are treated equally.  

Companies are legally required to make accessible software, and in 2019, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits against inaccessible websites increased by 12%. If hiring and leading with disability in mind is not a priority, it will be. A disabled workforce can help ensure your company is as diverse with its talent as it is for its customers.

Cognitive disabilities 

These include autism, down syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, and dyscalculia.

Physical disabilities 

These affect someone’s physical condition and mobility. They can also include hearing and visual incapabilities. 

There’s a lot more to disability than just the areas we’ve covered above. Take the time to study different areas and ensure you’re creating a workplace that’s welcoming for new employees and inclusive of current ones.  

4. Behavioral diversity

This can be seen in people’s actions. Behavioural traits often lead to an unconscious bias toward someone, especially if they don’t behave in a way that someone else usually experiences. 

The best examples of this are introverts and extroverts. In a social situation, an introvert may not come across as friendly as an extroverted person, but that doesn’t mean an introvert doesn’t like you as much as an extroverted person. 

Fast Company

5. Sexual orientation 

This is not something that someone should, would, or have to disclose when applying for a role. Your company needs to ensure that they feel comfortable enough to do so if they want to. 

6. Nationality 

It’s not uncommon for people to have certain stereotypes about different nationalities. However, we must remember and ingrain in our hiring team that stereotypes are a social construct, and we should not judge someone on nationality. 

No matter their nationality, as soon as someone walks into the office, they’re as equal as everyone else

7. Age diversity

Did you jump to an image of someone when you read age? How old was that person in your head? Did they have greying hair, or were they born in the 2000s? 

Age or generational diversity comes across the spectrum, and there are a few generational diversity myths. A company can benefit from having a variety of ages. Don’t discredit someone because they “couldn’t possibly have the experience you require being so young.” At the same time, don’t overlook a CV with candidates past their 50s. Both have their advantages.

8. Culture 

96% of HR professionals said cultural fit was vital to consider in the recruitment process, but only 11% were satisfied with how they were going about hiring for it. 

Diversity of culture comes down to a company’s internal culture. How can your culture remain inclusive of everyone else’s? What values do you need to build? If you’re unsure of how to go about this, create a feedback form and allow your team to fill it out anonymously. Let people tell you how they think the company can be more culturally sensitive. 

Source: ThriveMap: Dreams v Reality: Whitepaper

9. Religion & spirituality

These two areas of diversity need to be understood and accommodated in the workplace in many ways. 

No one should have to use their holiday for religious purposes, as the company-wide calendar doesn’t accommodate their religious days. 

Another aspect would be prayer times and rooms to fulfil prayers or spiritual needs. Can your business accommodate all religions and spiritualities? If not right now, how can you adapt to do so?

10. Parental & marital status

Often, something that is discriminated against stands in the way of someone being hired over someone else who’s seemingly more available. Married women looking to start a family tend to be viewed as more of a “risky hire” than those without families. 

A diverse company should not only accommodate but encourage family matters. It’s often been discussed that mothers develop soft skills that enable them to multitask better than others and result in better leadership qualities. 

11. Language

Language can fall across a range of linguistics, accents, and impediments. If someone speaks a second language to get a role, they should never be discriminated against or not listened to because they are struggling to find a word. A diverse team addresses language barriers that hinder trust and accountability.


12. Geographical location

Where someone chooses to live or has to live is a huge topic regarding diversity and inclusion. We cannot judge a person’s character on their zip code. Plus, if you’re hiring a remote team, a company should be flexible toward time zones to get the best talent possible.

 13. Citizenship 

Lastly, citizenship. Diversity is not always easy to achieve; this article has probably established that. On many occasions, one of the most significant and costly areas is hiring people with different citizenship. 

Juggling applying for visas or bringing on contractors, this area of diversity can soon add up. However, if someone is perfect for your business, the financial burden will be worth it. 

Wrapping it all up 

Diversity is not something you only try to see. You hear it, include it, and strive for it. It’s something that any workplace should champion. 

The quest for diversity tends to take a back seat, especially in times of crisis, yet it should be a priority and mission no matter what the company is experiencing.  

Diversity is not a “nice to have,” it’s a need. By being aware of these 13 areas discussed, your company is not only leading the way for a more open and diverse workplace but also for a more open and inclusive world. 

Author Bio

Ray Slater Berry is the director at DSLX—a B2B SaaS content agency. He has been working in content marketing and social media for a decade, and specializes in the tech, innovation, and travel sectors. Ray is a published novelist with his first book, Golden Boy. You can find him on Twitter


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ThriveMap creates customised assessments for high volume roles, which take candidates through an online “day in the life” experience of work in your company. Our assessments have been proven to reduce staff turnover, reduce time to hire, and improve quality of hire.

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