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Defining Diversity

Workplace diversity can be defined as workplaces that recognize and celebrate the many differences among their employees, including, but not limited to, characteristics/factors such as: gender, age, education level, religious and political beliefs, income level, sexual orientation, ethnic heritage, race, and geographic location. Workplace diversity practices help to guide both healthcare facilities and their employees through the process of creating and supporting diversity at work. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, "workplace diversity practices refer to efforts organizations engage in to provide an inclusive corporate culture that values differences and promotes opportunities for all employees."

In the past, diversity programs have focused mostly on race and gender and other physical dimensions. However, today’s definition of diversity covers a broad spectrum of individual and group differences ranging from work styles and experience to religious views and geographic location. As an employee of a healthcare team, accepting diverse characteristics among coworkers and forming strong relationships despite our similarities and differences, encourages a workplace where all feel valued and everyone's "voice" is heard and embraced.