To what extent is diversity a strength

Diversity - what is it?

Diversity means the variety of people and ways of life. Diversity aims at the recognition and appreciation of all people regardless of their social, ethnic etc. origin, their gender, their sexual orientation, their religious affiliation or worldview, their age, their physical or psychological abilities or other characteristics.

Diversity means discovering similarities

It is not only about the differences between people and their lifestyles, but also always about discovering similarities. People can be of different ethnic origins or religions and worldviews, but can be of the same age, lesbian and mother, or have the same physical abilities or impairments.

Social power relations and their influence on identity

Since the individual characteristics of identity are rated unequally (men and women, people with and without disabilities, younger and older people, heteronormativity), there are hierarchical relationships between them. This means that affiliations are located in social power relations. These affiliations thus influence a person's identity and influence in society.

Implementing diversity therefore also means reflecting the social relations of domination and the positions of each individual in it.

We live in a world in which the diversity of life forms is constantly increasing

People of different ethnic backgrounds, religions and worldviews, with and without disabilities, young and old, people of different sexual orientations, women, men, intersex and transgender people live and work in Germany. This diversity defines and enriches modern society.

The aim is the equal treatment of all people

Diversity aims to treat all people equally

Equal treatment for all people, as enshrined in the German constitution and, since 2006, in the General Equal Treatment Act, has not yet been implemented. People are still exposed to unequal treatment and discrimination on the basis of attributed or actual affiliations in everyday life, at work, at school, at the authorities, etc. Recurrent discrimination prevents people from developing their full potential and being actively involved in shaping society. It also has a negative effect on society as a whole.

Social barriers have to be overcome

Diversity represents the positive social counter-concept to exclusion and discrimination. For society, the implementation of diversity means the chance for the more complete development of each individual by overcoming social barriers and institutional discrimination and thus the implementation of human rights for each individual.

A visible expression of a diversity culture are the activities of the institution (or the organization or the company) in order to promote the development of each individual and to strengthen common ground.

Diversity is not about the others - it is about you.

Regine Bendl

Shaping diversity

Shaping diversity means developing actions and strategies step by step towards a diversity-friendly society. Prejudices and ideologies that justify discrimination in social institutions and structures can only be overcome if we take the initiative to change them.