Diversity is the relative uniqueness of each individual in the population. At the international level, diversity refers to the existence of many peoples contributing their unique experiences to humanity’s culture. The preservation of our planet’s formidable linguistic and cultural diversity in the context of world wide economic integration is the object of great concern to many people in the wake of the 21st century.
It is often used in conjunction with the term tolerance in political creeds which support the idea that such diversity is valuable and desirable.
Critics of diversity claim that in the political arena, diversity is a code word for forcing people to tolerate or approve people and practices they find repugnant. Critics also point out that diversity programs in education and business often emphasize minority groups (e.g., homosexuals) and do not give equal time to non-minority groups (heterosexuals). They claim that pluralism is a more accurate term for the presence of variation, and that, under the banner of "diversity," groups actually forbid criticism of protected groups by restricting what they call hate speech.
In Ecological context
Diversity describes the structure of ecological communities. This does not only involve the number of species, but also the number of individuals of each species. Several Diversity indices have been established.
In a business context, diversity is approached as a strategy for improving employee retention and increasing consumer confidence. The "business case for diversity", as it is often phrased, is that in a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose makeup mirrors the makeup of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose makeup is homogenous. Business diversity consultants and diversity trainers often treat the social consequences of diversity as secondary; their primary focus is to enable the company to function in a heterogeneous or global economy. Companies with diversity programs are usually national or international in scope, or are composed of large groups of workers who come from differing backgrounds.