Diversity and inclusion is about creating inclusive environments and practices where employees can be themselves, are valued for their differences, and be supported to work at their best.

What does a diversity and inclusion specialist do?

We define diversity as valuing everyone as an individual – whether employees, customers or clients. Harnessing these differences creates a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, their talents are fully utilised, and organisational and personal goals are met.

Done brilliantly, diversity and inclusion goes beyond the basic legislative and compliance requirements; it's about creating an environment where difference is embraced and individuals can flourish.

Diversity and inclusion (or D&I) specialists are key influencers in the organisation, often working with senior leaders to gain their commitment to initiatives which create long-term value for organisations. When delivered in an integrated way, diversity creates value to both organisations and wider society. Being able to evidence this value is key to gaining buy-in from stakeholders.

Video: The time has come to be serious about diversity.

At high speed rail network HS2, Mark Lomas is making inclusion integral to every single part of the business model – and he hopes initiatives such as blind recruitment and reverse mentoring will kickstart a revolution.

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Your typical activities

Here are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in as a diversity and inclusion specialist:

  • Providing analysis and expert advice on how diverse mainstream people practices are
  • Diversity assessments of wider organisational practices and processes
  • Creating diversity networks to ensure all groups have a voice in the organisation
  • Creating positive action interventions to support under‐represented groups
  • Coaching and upskilling managers and employees on the value of diversity
  • Creating diversity analytics to understand and track performance in the organisation, including legislative requirements
  • Celebrating diversity through organised events and awareness sessions.

Types of roles in diversity and inclusion

Here is a shortlist of the types of job titles you might find in diversity and inclusion. As you can see, diversity and inclusion specialists are at all levels of experience and seniority:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
  • Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
  • Diversity and Inclusion Manager
  • Head of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

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