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What does a Diversity Manager do?

By S.R. Morris-Gray
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A diversity manager, sometimes known as a diversity officer, typically is responsible for monitoring and enforcing standards of cultural diversity in an office, business, agency, or school setting. This manger usually is responsible for informing employees of the legal diversity requirements as well. The role of the manager could include the creation of a curriculum that is used to train workers and management in the appreciation of disability, gender, culture, and age differences. Typically, the training would include instruction on how people's differences impact the workplace and the employee's role in creating a climate of accepting those differences.

All levels of government in the United States (US), as well as non-profit agencies and private industries, could employ diversity managers. Projects with regional and national funding that require affirmative action hiring or use of minority subcontractors for projects will typically use diversity managers. These specialized managers document all information necessary to meet legal requirements and file required paperwork and reports. The responsibilities of the diversity manager are typically integrated with the human resource (HR) duties in small offices and businesses.

Workplace diversity generally involves establishment of an environment that treats all workers, customers, and management with dignity. The diversity manager usually holds the main share of development of this environment and is responsible for encouraging input from all workers. Also, the manager typically will devise a program that ensures that employees voluntarily maintain the climate that allows open acceptance. Managers typically will evaluate the workplace with a variety of ethnographic methods, including surveys, questionnaires, and interviews, to determine the levels of acceptance. The measurements include both qualitative and quantitative results that are often used to determine the type and amount of training necessary to maintain, and often improve, the working environment.

Recruiting, promoting, and retaining a staff of diverse individuals also can be part of the diversity manager's duties. If the workplace does not currently represent diversity, the manger could devise a program to expand recruitment. This might include outreach activities at local colleges or universities, and advertising in specialized forums or professional magazines and journals. It may require hiring interns that are trained in a particular job when the hiring pool does not meet diverse needs. Law firms sometimes reach out to groups of law school students to work as interns at an office in the hopes of hiring the interns after graduation to improve diversity in the office.

Diversity management typically involves an on-going effort by the manager to encourage input by the community, co-workers, and management. The groups could be asked to assist in planning and implementing standards, programs, and practices to encourage development of multiculturalism and a respect for differences in gender, age, and sexual preferences. A diversity manager may also be responsible for developing and taking community surveys to determine the public view of the company related to its hiring. The information reported in the surveys can be particularly important to companies relying on participation or consumerism from the community.

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