Diversity vs. Equal Opportunity: What’s the Difference?

by Tiffany Kuehl

In the employment world, the words “diversity” and “equality” are often used interchangeably. While connected, they are not the same. As you navigate the already complex world of hiring, trying to determine the difference can be a headache. To help make things easier, let’s brush up on some definitions.

Equality refers to ensuring individuals, applicants, candidates, and employees are treated fairly and consistently. Diversity, on the other hand, refers to recognizing and respecting differences.

Before you reach for the aspirin, consider this: diversity is not a law in the U.S. That being said, reports show that diverse businesses outperform their less diverse counterparts.

Conversely, equal employment opportunity is a law. Organizations must give due and equal consideration regardless of whether or not an applicant falls into a protected class (age, gender, religion, marital status, disability, military service, etc.).

To learn how your organization can improve diversity, as well as comply with equal employment, read my full blog in the University of St. Thomas Newsroom.

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