Diversity in the Workplace

The issues around diversity that face wider society are all too apparent in the workplace too. We look at the key bones of contention and the strategies being used to resolve them. 

A diverse workforce

Much great work is being done by employers around the world now on diversity and inclusion, as this is seen not only as positive for workers, but a good thing for the health and creativity of a business. It also fits into a strategy to encourage the recruitment of talented people and to ensure they stick around once they see that the culture is open, welcoming and progressive. 

Protected characteristics

It’s no secret that an individual’s characteristics can influence their treatment and how they advance within the workplace and for this reason, some identity indicators are typically protected by law. These vary by country, but often include the following key areas: race, national, social or ethnic originphysical appearancedisability, genderpregnancyfamily status, sexual orientation and identityagepolitical opinionsreligionbeliefs, philosophy and trade union membership. However, this does vary considerably around the world, with some parts of the world still lacking significant equality laws.  

Below we put the spotlight on the law and legal developments relating to certain protected characteristics in the countries in which we operate:

Gender discrimination

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women in the workplace, with many women taking on additional caring responsibilities. States and employers will need to be vigilant in the coming months and years to redress this imbalance, and tackle the negative impact of the pandemic on the gender pay gap. In this section, we explore recent case law on gender discrimination and examine government initiatives to address gender imbalances in the world of work and what they mean for employers.

Gender pay gap map

Reporting on pay disparities between men and women is a tool many governments worldwide employ in the fight against discrimination in the workplace. This map shows at a glance which countries currently have reporting obligations in place for employers in relations to what men and women are paid in their organisations.

Sexual harassment definitions table

Different countries have various ways of looking at the issue of sexual harassment, and different ways to define it. The chart below covers over 50 countries. You can search the name of a country, or more than one country in the search box below, to bring up the details you need.

The Word 2021:
Forces for Change
COVID-19 has put employment issues centre stage in a way that has never been seen before. From remote working, to cybersecurity, through diversity and inclusion, mental health, corporate purpose and, finally, a gaze at the future of the city, this 2021 edition of The Word draws on our legal expertise and truly reflects the global reach of our alliance of 59 countries.


Get in touch with our experts

Yvonne Frederiksen is a partner at Norrbom Vinding, Ius Laboris Denmark, and Chair of our Expert Group on Discrimination, covering 59 countries. You can contact her on any issue to do with the topics discussed on this page. You can also contact Sam Everatt, Executive Director of Ius Laboris to be put in touch with a law firm within our alliance, on this or any other employment-related topic.
Yvonne Frederiksen
Yvonne Frederiksen
Sam Everatt
Executive Director

Please contact us should you have any questions or require legal advice on any discrimination related issues.