Diversity is the presence of a wide range of variation in the qualities or attributes under discussion.

Table of contents
1 Social context
2 Planetary context
3 Politics
4 Business context

Social context

In a social context, the term diversity refers to the presence in one population of a wide variety of cultures, opinions, ethnic groups, et cetera.

Planetary context

At the international level, diversity refers to the existence of many peoples contributing their unique experiences to humanity's culture.


It is often used in conjunction with the term tolerance in political creeds which support the idea that such diversity is valuable and desirable.

Critics of diversity claim that in the political arena, diversity is a code word for forcing people to tolerate or approve people and practices they find repugnant. Critics also point out that diversity programs in education and business often emphasize minority groups (e.g., homosexuals) and do not give equal time to non-minority groups (heterosexuals). They claim that pluralism is a more accurate term for the presence of variation, and that, under the banner of "diversity," groups actually forbid criticism of protected groups by restricting what they call hate speech.

"Respect for Diversity" is one of the six principles of the Global Greens Charter, a manifesto of Green parties from all over the world subscribed to.

Business context

In a business context, diversity is approached as a strategy for improving employee retention and increasing consumer confidence. The "business case for diversity", as it is often phrased, is that in a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose makeup mirrors the makeup of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose makeup is homogenous. Business diversity consultants and diversity trainers often treat the social consequences of diversity as secondary; their primary focus is to enable the company to function in a heterogeneous or global economy. Companies with diversity programs are usually national or international in scope, or are composed of large groups of workers who come from differing backgrounds.