Diversity isn’t just about race or ethnicity. It involves many factors, both internal and external. 

Circles separating personality, internal, external and organizational dimensions as layers that make a person diverse

Ever wonder what they are? Take a look at this graphic which combines the dimensions of diversity that are present and active in your environment. It consists of four layers through which stimuli, information and experience are processed by all of us.

  • Personality dimensions (1st layer) show a person’s characteristics, how they interact with others and how all these aspects together affect the way the person is treated by others.

  • Internal dimensions (2nd layer) are based on six aspects that are beyond an individual’s choice or control. For example, you are given age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity and race. These aspects influence how you are treated when dealing with diversity in communication and interaction with others.  

  • External dimensions (3rd layer) depict the outcomes of life experiences and decisions/choices. Altogether, there are ten different areas (such as education, work experience, income, marital status, etc…) through which people can be appreciated or degraded, connected or disconnected, depending on how these aspects are seen and applied.

  • Organizational dimensions (4th layer) include elements that are integrated into work and social interaction in an organization or at a workplace. They contain many aspects of working life and how a person relates to them in the context of diversity.

Exercise: After looking at the Diversity Wheel, write down the top five things you think of when trying to describe yourself. Where do they fall on the Diversity Wheel?