Workplace Diversity Experts


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Workplace diversity experts rely on a well-rounded education in their work. Take classes in business, mathematics, history, social sciences, and computer science. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are are needed so be sure to include classes in communications, English, psychology, and speech. Knowledge of a foreign language is beneficial for working with international companies.

Postsecondary Education

Most employers prefer to hire workplace diversity experts who have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in social science, such as psychology or sociology, or in human resources or a related field of study. Some workplace diversity experts may have a master's or doctoral degree. Areas of study include counseling, psychology, social work, human resource management, business administration, organizational development, industrial psychology, or other related fields. Classes in government and law are also essential for building knowledge of employment rules and regulations in the workplace.

Other Education or Training

Diversity experts must continue to learn throughout their careers to keep up with employment laws and best practices in business. They take continuing education classes and workshops offered by professional associations such as the Association for Talent Development, Society for Human Resource Management, International Society for Performance Improvement, Society for Diversity, and WorldatWork. Visit the Web sites of these organizations to learn more.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Workplace diversity experts become certified to enhance their knowledge and to show they have achieved a level of expertise and credibility in their profession. The Society for Diversity offers the Certified Diversity Professional or the Certified Diversity Executive designation to those who pass the certification exam. Find information at Cornell University offers the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate to those who complete the certificate coursework online and pass an exam,

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Workplace diversity experts are experienced professionals who have five or more years of experience in human resources. Many have a bachelor's or master's degree and participated in an internship program in human resources while in school. Many also are certified in diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Strong knowledge of employment laws and industry standards is essential in this work. Diversity experts must be able to communicate clearly with employees, managers, and chief executives of companies. Their work entails sharing their recommendations for diversity and inclusion goals with note only the companies' staff and leaders but also with the public. Strong reading, writing, and speaking skills are crucial in this job. Interpersonal skills are helpful for working with people of all job levels and personalities. The ability to handle stress is also key for managing challenging workplace issues and staying focused on the goals of improving work environments for all and protecting employees' rights.