How do I Become a Diversity Manager?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
A belief in multiculturalism is an important asset of a diversity manager.
A belief in multiculturalism is an important asset of a diversity manager.

Someone working in human resources might want to become a diversity manager. The primary focus of this role is to implement and support diversity policies and procedures in the workplace. Diversity is a term used to describe a representative pattern of variety. For example, a diverse company will have employees at all levels from different cultures, backgrounds and religions.

People who strongly believe in multiculturalism and equality for everyone will have the most success as a diversity manager. Careful and honest self-examination is the best way to learn about personal biases or stereotypes that might have a negative impact on job performance. If you want to become a diversity manager, you must truly believe in the benefits of diversity programs, or you likely will not be successful.

A minimum two- or three-year post-secondary program in human resources, business administration or related field is required. In addition, a post-graduate certificate in diversity is often required by employers. This program is one year in length and focuses completely on diversity issues, policies, training initiatives and research.

In addition to the educational requirements, someone who wants to become a diversity manager must have relevant experience. The easiest way to gain experience in diversity is to talk with your current employer. Most human resources departments are interested in pursing diversity initiatives, because it improves the profile of the company and is a great way to have a positive effect on the workforce.

Obtain permission to review recruitment and hiring policies and make recommendations to increase diversity. This might include updating the application form to include a diversity section or arranging a group to discuss the current level of diversity in the workplace. Some companies have a policy that minority candidates who are equally qualified must be interviewed, and other companies prefer to actively recruit minorities into the workforce.

Anyone who has the necessary academic credentials and wants to become a diversity manager can set up a consulting business. This type of company would provide guidance and advice to smaller companies that want to incorporate diversity initiatives into the workplace. These assignments are often two to six months in length and include suggesting changes to policies and diversity training and addressing the use of stereotypes in the workplace.

Career advancement opportunities for a diversity manager include working as a director of human resources and diversity, diversity consultant, researcher or instructor. Many diversity professionals write books and articles on diversity issues and challenges. Others become interested in research initiatives and dedicate their time to gaining a better understanding of the challenges involved in improving diversity.

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    • A belief in multiculturalism is an important asset of a diversity manager.
      A belief in multiculturalism is an important asset of a diversity manager.