Dimention of Diversity

Diversity, however, breaks the affirmative action framework and goes beyond race and gender (Thomas, 1990). In fact, the new diversity paradigm defines it as the process of creating and maintaining an environment that naturally enables all participants to contribute to their full potential in the pursuit of organization objectives (Thomas, 1993).
The following model can be helpful to more fully understand what it means to enable all persons to contribute their full potential to their organizations.
Primary Dimensions
The inner circle shows the primary dimensions of diversity -- those that are fundamental to a persons' self-concept or core self. These dimensions, though not necessarily visible, are unchangeable in that they are not a matter of choice. They form the basis on which people make instantaneous judgments about one another, often through the process of stereotyping.
Secondary Dimensions
The middle circle consists of secondary dimensions of diversity. These are aspects of a persons' identity that are important to a definition of self, but are not as fundamental as the primary dimensions.
Tertiary Dimensions
In addition, it would be possible to add a third circle         that consists of the tertiary dimensions of diversity, such as learning style, personality, and professional orientation. All three categories (primary, secondary, and tertiary) contribute to the formation of a person's unique life experiences, perspectives, and skill sets. An effective organization can learn to recognize, understand, appreciate, respect, and utilize these multiple aspects of a person in the pursuit of its mission and objectives.
This broadened definition of diversity sheds light on another reason for understands the connections between diversity and organizational change. Diversity is often received as a program, not a significant and complex organizational change process. Defined in this way, diversity frequently is dealt with as a training program for employees (usually managers only). Training programs by themselves, however, rarely have the muscle to change the organization's culture. A diversity effort that focuses primarily on training is, therefore, not likely to achieve long-term long-lasting results.