Best Books about Business Diversity: Essential Reads

P.J McNulty
December 29, 2023 | 6 mins


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In a business context that is continuously evolving, diversity stands as an example of progress, innovation, and competitive advantage.

Understanding diversity and leveraging it within your organization isn't just a moral imperative; it's a crucial business strategy.

The following curation of books offers you the insights, strategies, and wisdom to navigate and embrace diversity in the business world.

Discover the best diversity books to cultivate a workplace where everyone belongs:

What is a business diversity book?

A business diversity book is a type of book that explores the dimensions, benefits, and implementation strategies of diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

It offers theoretical insights, empirical evidence, and practical advice on how to integrate an inclusive culture, address biases, and foster a diverse environment that enhances business performance.

1. Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business by Pamela Newkirk

Newkirk's book provides a critical examination of the diversity industry and its efficacy in the business world.

Diversity Book: Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise Of A Billion-Dollar Business By Pamela Newkirk

It explores the paradoxes and challenges of institutional diversity efforts. This book is an essential read for understanding what has been ineffective in past diversity initiatives.

From it, you can glean insights into the pitfalls to avoid and understand the nuances of meaningful diversity efforts that you could apply in writing your book.

2. The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity while Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work by Laura A. Liswood

Liswood's book uses parables and real-world examples to explore workplace diversity.

Diversity Book: The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences To Achieve Success At Work By Laura A. Liswood

It discusses the ‘loudest duck' syndrome and the ‘noah's ark' syndrome affecting workplace dynamics. The strategies and insights offered can help in understanding how to write about creating cohesive yet diverse teams, emphasizing on embracing differences rather than merely acknowledging them.

3. The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy by Scott E. Page

Scott Page elucidates how diversity creates a bonus in problem-solving and predictions.

Diversity Book: The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off In The Knowledge Economy By Scott E. Page

The book provides quantitative evidence supporting the idea that diverse teams outperform homogenous ones. The lessons from this book can guide you to write convincingly about the economic and innovative benefits of diversity, backed by solid evidence and case studies.

4. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

This book delves into the unconscious biases that all individuals harbor.

Diversity Book: Blindspot: Hidden Biases Of Good People By Mahzarin R. Banaji And Anthony G. Greenwald

Understanding these can profoundly impact how you approach writing on diversity, especially emphasizing the need for self-awareness and continuous learning in creating an inclusive environment.

5. Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams by Stefanie K. Johnson

Johnson's book combines research with practical strategies for leaders to build inclusive teams.

Diversity Book: Inclusify: The Power Of Uniqueness And Belonging To Build Innovative Teams By Stefanie K. Johnson

The insights from this book can be instrumental in illustrating how leaders can champion diversity and inclusivity through practical steps and mindset shifts in your own writing.

6. We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics by Mary-Frances Winters

This book provides a blueprint for discussing sensitive and polarizing topics in the workplace.

Diversity Book: We Can’t Talk About That At Work!: How To Talk About Race, Religion, Politics, And Other Polarizing Topics By Mary-Frances Winters

The lessons here are crucial for writing about navigating complex conversations, an essential skill for any leader fostering diversity.

7. Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces by Karen Catlin

Catlin's book offers a practical guide to being an ally in the workplace.

Diversity Book: Better Allies: Everyday Actions To Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces” By Karen Catlin

Applying lessons from this book can help you write about actionable steps individuals at any level can take to support diversity and inclusion.

8. The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed by Martin N. Davidson

Davidson challenges traditional diversity initiatives and offers a new framework for understanding and leveraging difference.

Diversity Book: The End Of Diversity As We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail And How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed By Martin N. Davidson

This book's insights can inform how to write about innovative approaches to diversity beyond traditional methods.

9. Delivering Through Diversity by Vivian Hunt, Lareina Yee, Sara Prince, and Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle

This McKinsey & Company report offers evidence of the link between diversity and business performance.

Diversity Book: Delivering Through Diversity By Vivian Hunt, Lareina Yee, Sara Prince, And Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle

It provides empirical data that can strengthen arguments and provide solid grounding when writing about the business case for diversity.

10. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks discusses the impact of patriarchal culture on men and women, particularly in the workplace.

Diversity Book: The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, And Love By Bell Hooks

Insights from this book can help in addressing gender dynamics and the role of men in fostering diversity, a unique angle in diversity discussions.

11. What If?: Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue by Steve L. Robbins

Robbins uses engaging stories to provoke thought and conversation about diversity.

Diversity Book: What If?: Short Stories To Spark Diversity Dialogue By Steve L. Robbins

Lessons from this book can guide you in using storytelling effectively to discuss complex diversity topics in an accessible manner.

12. Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran

This book sheds light on microaggressions and their impact.

Diversity Book: Subtle Acts Of Exclusion: How To Understand, Identify, And Stop Microaggressions By Tiffany Jana And Michael Baran

Incorporating its lessons can help you discuss the nuances of daily interactions and their significance in fostering an inclusive culture.

13. How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive by Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown provides a step-by-step guide for inclusive leadership.

Diversity Book: How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role In Creating Cultures Of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive By Jennifer Brown

The strategies and frameworks from this book can inform how to write about leadership’s role in diversity with a practical, actionable approach.

14. Leading with D&I: Research, Strategy and Practice: A Field Guide for Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace by Catalyst

This guide offers comprehensive strategies and insights from the global nonprofit Catalyst.

Its rich content can provide a depth of knowledge and strategies that you can translate into writing about creating sustainable, inclusive work environments.

15. Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience edited by Laura Morgan Roberts, Anthony J. Mayo, and David A. Thomas

This anthology offers insights into the experiences of black leaders and scholars.

Diversity Book: Race, Work, And Leadership: New Perspectives On The Black Experience Edited By Laura Morgan Roberts, Anthony J. Mayo, And David A. Thomas

The narratives and research provided can guide discussions on race and leadership in a nuanced and informed manner.

Are you ready to write your own book about business diversity?

In the quest to build a resilient, innovative, and inclusive business, the knowledge and strategies gleaned from these books are invaluable.

Each book provides a unique perspective and practical advice that can inspire and guide your own journey in writing and implementing diversity in business.

Take these insights, reflect on them, and start the transformative journey of writing your book, leveraging the power of diversity to forge a path toward a more inclusive and successful business future.

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