What does diversity mean to the Society?

Illustration of concepts outlined by Aragon, S. & de Anca, C. (2018).[1]

A diversity of backgrounds, views, experience and perspectives sets the stage for creativity and innovation - and ultimately, it is the mix of people and exchange of ideas that will help us address the challenges of the future.

When considering diversity, we want to reach beyond the protected characteristics to include wider definitions of identity where barriers to inclusion may exist. For example, socioeconomic status, personal needs for mental wellbeing, neurodiversity and learning needs, gender identity and paternal status. We look at diversity through a model of the three types of diversity (demographic, experiential and cognitive) that, when combined, describe our identity.[1]

We apply this definition to diversity in the workforce, and to research and development. For more on what we currently know about both dimensions of this issue, click on the boxes below.

How can you get involved?

We want to make change. As part of this, and our work going forwards, we have opened a call for submissions to hear about what you are already doing in this area, and to explore how we may be able to work together. Please send a short summary of your work on equality, diversity and inclusion to Sophia McCully (Policy Officer) as soon as possible, indicating whether you would be interested in discussing this at our annual meeting .

If you feel that there is anything else we should be thinking about or focusing on, please also get in touch.

To discuss this work, please contact Anna Zecharia via email or through the BPS Community.

Further reading


[1] Aragon, S. & de Anca, C. (2018) “The 3 types of diversity that shape our identity.” Harvard Business Review.