Diversity Initiatives

Our Approach — Diversity is Central

The State of North Carolina recognizes the critical role that effective diversity management plays in achieving a high-performing organization. As stated in The Roadmap to Diversity, Inclusion and High Performance, "High performance encompasses two complementary components: competent, self-motivated employees and an inclusive leadership support system. Both are necessities to ensure the effective performance of all employees."

This understanding has lead to a philosophy in the State of North Carolina that views diversity as central to the achievement of high performance, rather than a separate component that impacts the business environment but does not direct that environment.

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Diversity management is a combination of programs, policies, and activities that support an environment wherein employee differences are valued and integrated into each part of the organization's operations. It assists in understanding, valuing, respecting and promoting a diverse workforce to ensure that managers retain and capitalize on the ideas and skills all employees bring to the organization. Successful diversity management initiatives enhance both the performance and the cohesiveness of an organization.

Dimensions of Diversity

There are three dimensions of diversity (primary, secondary and functional). They are described below.

(based on physical characteristics and personal orientations)

(based on individual beliefs, values, and cultural traditions)

(based on work experience)


Marital status

Work background


Religious beliefs

Management status




Mental and physical ability

Military experience

Organizational placement

Sexual orientation

Political affiliation

Physical work location


Parental status

Organizational hierarchy



Leadership style

National origin


Communication style



Decision-making style

Diversity Management Objectives

The ultimate objective is for diversity to become a valued and institutionalized component of business processes in high-performance organizations. To support this objective, the diversity plan works to achieve:

  • Diversity at all employment/occupational levels — Achieve diversity levels that reflect the population of the State of North Carolina at all employment levels and specifically, in policy-making positions.
  • Cultural awareness — Achieve a work environment that supports cultural diversity and uses the varied experiences of employees to create a high-performance organization.
  • Diversity buy-in — Achieve an organizational acceptance that views diversity as a competitive advantage in terms of achieving high performance and improving problem-solving techniques.
  • Performance organization — Ensure that the varied talents and experiences of all employees are contributing to and supporting the business operations of the organization.

Each objective must be qualitatively or quantitatively measured.

Where to Go from Here

The diversity approach used by the State of North Carolina can be detailed in the following areas:

  1. Establishment of a leadership commitment statement and
  2. Implementation of diversity initiatives

It is important to begin an organizational diversity program with a commitment statement. This statement must inspire an organization to do whatever is appropriate to successfully accomplish a goal or objective. This commitment often involves a leader empowering others to feel as if their work has meaning and purpose beyond the tasks they perform each day. In the area of diversity management, this process involves not only a change in practice and policies to meet the objectives, but also a transformation of the mindset of the organization. This is the first step in moving toward the development of an inclusive environment.

The State of North Carolina has undertaken numerous diversity management initiatives designed to support the organizational transformation outlined in our commitment statement. Each program detailed in the initiatives is designed to support diversity management, thereby achieving a high-performance organization.