Colleges and employers often ask for essays about diversity as part of the application process, and this list of 21 topic ideas is a great place to start.
Diversity is a hot topic in today’s society. Everything from ethnicity to sexual orientation can be a topic to discuss when discussing ethical and cultural diversity. If you are assigned a diversity essay for your high school or college classwork, your writing begins with finding a great topic.
Essays about diversity often explore the writer’s cultural background or demographic. While ethnicity can be one topic, diversity can also discuss gender, socioeconomic status, and even non-ethnic culture. These factors give the writer a unique perspective on life and society, and that makes an excellent starting point for an essay.
Because diversity is such a broad topic, you may find it difficult to create an essay or personal statement on this particular topic without direction. Here are some topic ideas that can help you connect your experiences to the topic of diversity. Before we dive in, for help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers.
- 1. The Definition of Diversity
- 2. Why Diversity Matters in Society
- 3. How Workplaces can Promote Diversity and Inclusion
- 4. What Are the Drawbacks of Emphasizing Diversity in the Workplace?
- 5. What Are the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace?
- 6. How a Diverse Student Body Benefits a College
- 7. How Has An Aspect of Your Identity Shaped Your Life Experiences?
- 8. Describe Your Place Within a Community Group
- 9. Does Racial Discrimination Exist, and How Has It Changed?
- 10. Describe a Diverse Community You Have Been Part Of
- 11. How Did You Overcome Your Socioeconomic Status?
- 12. How Can You Contribute to the Diversity of an Organization?
- 13. What Are the Main Problems Preventing Gender Equality?
- 14. How Does Diversity Influence College Students?
- 15. How Can You Become More Diverse?
- 16. Why Are Ancient Traditions Important?
- 17. Mass Media’s Influence on Cultural Diversity
- 18. How to Find a Sense of Belonging in a Multicultural Group
- 19. Communication in a Diverse Community
- 20. How the Digital World Increases Cultural Diversity
- 21. Is Unity in Diversity Possible?
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1. The Definition of Diversity
One of the first ways to discuss diversity in an essay is by defining it. Many people consider diversity the mixing of different cultures and people groups into one cohesive group, but is it more? Could it be the attitude of respect and appreciation shown to people in these groups within a community?
Defining diversity is more difficult than you might think depending on your education and background. For an open-ended diversity assignment, explore what this concept means to you and your peer group.
2. Why Diversity Matters in Society
How does diversity impact society as a whole? What does it mean to say modern society is a “melting pot” of different ideas and cultures? In this essay, you can explore how this cultural diversity and the many minority groups within society add their own brand of uniqueness to the world.
This essay can explore the contributions of different cultural and ethnic groups within society as a whole. It can build the argument that diversity is important by exploring the connectivity of the modern world and how different people groups impact one another.
3. How Workplaces can Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity in the workplace is a topic of much debate. Many organizations offer initiatives and incentives to encourage their branches to hire more minorities and people from smaller groups within the population. This essay topic would explore what types of incentives might work best.
It could also touch on how to incentivize minority hiring without discriminating against those who are not in a minority group. The key would be to create a balanced workforce, not to have anyone group prohibited from getting the job they want.
4. What Are the Drawbacks of Emphasizing Diversity in the Workplace?
Diversity in the workplace seems like a worthy goal, but does it have drawbacks? This essay lets you explore potential drawbacks. For example, diversity initiatives cost money to implement, and that can hurt the organization. Similarly, while diverse teams benefit from the different backgrounds of their members, they sometimes do not work as efficiently as teams made up of people who share similar life experiences, viewpoints, or cultures.
Diversity can also create communication issues and cultural misunderstandings. Workplaces may also find it difficult to define diversity in a way that satisfies everyone or meets the unique needs of the different groups of people within a particular business or organization.
5. What Are the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace?
Like most things, diversity has both benefits and drawbacks, and you can create an essay that highlights the benefits. Some potential benefits include bringing in people from multiple cultural groups in order to understand the personal experience of those groups and, in turn, reach people from those groups that may be potential customers or clients. Diverse workplaces are also more likely to be innovative, as the different people have diverse backgrounds to contribute to the discussion.
While some organizations find diversity creates less efficiency, others find it improves it. One Changeboard study found that companies with diverse leadership had 57 percent more effectiveness and efficiency in collaboration than those who did not. Find these and other benefits to write about in your diversity essay.
6. How a Diverse Student Body Benefits a College
College admissions departments push for diversity, and for good reason. Some of the largest grant-giving organizations in the country will consider diversity when looking at a college’s grant proposals, which means diversity could lead to more funding. But money is just one benefit.
For the students, a diverse student body helps them meet additional people from different walks of life while gaining their college education. For professors, it gives them a richer experience in the classroom and in research because they can probe the cultural ideals of multiple people groups. As you delve more deeply into this topic, you will likely find several additional items you can add to your list to round out your essay.
7. How Has An Aspect of Your Identity Shaped Your Life Experiences?
Sometimes the goal of a diversity essay is to see if you can think critically about your own life experiences and personal identity. This essay prompt invites you to look at a particular aspect of your identities, such as your culture, ethnicity, sexual identity, or something similar, and relate it to your life experiences.
Learn more about how to create a writing prompt.
This essay requires introspection and analytical thinking. It is also highly personal to the writer. You have to be able to connect who you are to what you have experienced and then show how both of those have shaped you as a person.
8. Describe Your Place Within a Community Group
Communities have groups within them that share things like socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or ideology. Most people are within multiple of these community groups. For this essay, the writer chooses one they identify with and describes how they fit within this group.
Not only will you explain why that group is one they belong to, but you will also explain your place within it. Are you a leader, or a learner? Do you anticipate remaining in this group for life, or is it a passing interest? How has your role within this group defined who you are as a person today, and how will it influence you in the future?
9. Does Racial Discrimination Exist, and How Has It Changed?
Diversity remains an important topic because racial discrimination still exists, most would argue. While we may not have separate drinking fountains and bathrooms like during the Civil Rights era, racial discrimination still happens. First, this essay establishes how discrimination happens. Then it discusses how that discrimination has changed from past generations to today.
This essay topic has many potential directions, but the point is that diversity has not eliminated discrimination. It takes more subtle forms today, but it still exists. You could also discuss how to fight this problem in your essay if you need a higher word count after discussing the way diversity has changed.
10. Describe a Diverse Community You Have Been Part Of
Most people can think of a diverse community they have been part of. It might be a workplace, classroom, or neighborhood. Think about your life experiences and determine what diverse groups have been part of those experiences.
In your essay, describe how the diversity made the group successful. Did the different cultural groups interact? Did they build off of and learn from each other, and how did they support and respect each other? Show that you can value diversity by how you see it valued in your groups.
11. How Did You Overcome Your Socioeconomic Status?
Socioeconomic status is one of the aspects of diversity that can be part of your essay. If you overcame a particular socio-economic challenge to get to where you are today, you can transform that into an engaging essay.
This essay prompt works well for college entrance essays that look for self-reflection. It allows you to paint yourself as an aggressive and effective worker who is able to overcome adversity to find success. This tenacity can make you more appealing as a student in the university setting.
12. How Can You Contribute to the Diversity of an Organization?
This essay prompt can work well for employment essays or essays for the college admissions committee. It allows you to show ways your background and culture could add to the diversity of the organization. Even if you are not part of an ethnic minority, you could show how your cultural experiences, ideological views, or even extensive foreign travel can bring something unique to the table for the organization.
This essay topic is particularly important if you are looking to impress someone with your diversity knowledge, even if you do not identify in a specific minority group that the organization targets. You can show how your worldview and culture can be an asset to the organization if they choose to hire or admit you.
13. What Are the Main Problems Preventing Gender Equality?
Gender inequality, especially in the workplace, remains a problem. One Pew Research Study found that women earn, on average, 84% of what men earn doing the same job. Studying the barriers to gender inequality can turn into a solid essay topic.
With this essay, make sure that you list the problems and discuss potential solutions. Is the lack of maternity leave and childcare hindering women from climbing the corporate ladder as quickly as men, or is it long-held cultural beliefs that keep women back in the workforce? What can be done to address these issues and make gender equality a reality?
14. How Does Diversity Influence College Students?
Because diversity essays are commonly called for on the college level, this topic idea addresses diversity in college head-on. You will discuss how diversity on college campuses influences students. While many influences will be positive, such as expanding cultural understanding and tolerance, some may be negative, like challenges working on collaborative projects with a person who does not share ideology or cultural background.
Since colleges promote diversity so heavily, you are likely to find primarily positive outcomes for this topic. However, be sure to dig in and consider what could be a drawback, too. Having a balance between the two will show the reader that you can think critically on important topics.
15. How Can You Become More Diverse?
Is it possible to become a more diverse person? The answer to this question depends on how you define diversity. However, through travel to foreign countries and exposure to people groups outside of your comfort zone, you may be able to expand your diversity as an individual, provided you define diversity as the respect and admiration for other cultures.
In this essay, you can evaluate areas where you lack diversity. Then, you can look at ways to add it. This diversity essay gives you the chance to perform self-reflection, which teachers and admissions professionals often want to see.
16. Why Are Ancient Traditions Important?
Ancient traditions are the traditions of cultural groups that are not commonly practiced in modern society. Many cultural groups find these to be anchoring, drawing them back to their culture of origin and reminding them of where they came from. This essay will discuss why supporting and highlighting these ancient traditions is important.
To begin this essay, you will need to define what ancient traditions are. Then, you will need to show how they remain vital in modern society by tying people back to their cultural roots. Finally, you could discuss ways in which ancient cultures and their traditions can benefit modern society as a whole.
17. Mass Media’s Influence on Cultural Diversity
Is mass media helping or hurting the individuality of cultures? You could argue either way with this essay. On the one hand, mass media allows us to interact with and learn about cultures we normally would not engage with, and that can have a positive impact on cultural diversity.
On the other hand, mass media can have a melting pot effect, reducing the individuality of cultures by making us all appear as the same. This effect could be a negative effect. In your essay, decide whether the total effect is primarily positive or primarily negative, and then discuss why.
18. How to Find a Sense of Belonging in a Multicultural Group
One of the potential challenges of a highly diverse society is the difficulty people have in finding a sense of belonging. We often discover a sense of belonging when we find things in common with the people around us, and there may not be many commonalities with a highly multicultural group.
This essay would explore ways to combat this problem. It will discuss how members of a multicultural community can dig in and find interests in common with other community members, or how they can learn about different cultural groups to gain some common ground.
19. Communication in a Diverse Community
One of the challenges of diversity is the different communication styles between people groups. Gender differences and cultural differences between individuals mean different ways of relating and communicating. This essay will discuss these differences and the ways that organizations can overcome them.
For example, some cultures find directly stating opinions to be forward, while others expect this. How could a company embrace both communication styles to get things done without people feeling offended due to cultural differences? Exploring questions like these will create a thought-provoking essay.
20. How the Digital World Increases Cultural Diversity
Having the internet always at one’s fingertips makes connecting with people of other cultures easier, which can lend itself to an essay topic on diversity. With this essay, you can explore whether or not the digital world and its accessibility is helping or hurting cultural diversity. You can then explore ways that organizations can use the digital world to add more diversity within their communities.
One potential drawback of this digital world is that it promotes cultural amalgamation. The distinction between different cultural groups gets blurred. While this can lead to more inclusion, it can also lead to the loss of important parts of these cultures as they all start to merge together.
21. Is Unity in Diversity Possible?
Is it possible for a highly diverse community to live and operate in unity? Exploring the answer to this question can build a solid essay. If a community has people from many cultural, religious, and social groups, are they able to live in a unified manner?
The answer to this question may depend on how the cultural or religious groups function. If something held dear by one group is against the foundational beliefs of another, then unity may not be possible. On the other hand, if they are just differences that are not in opposition to each other, unity is something that the larger community may be able to achieve, even without giving up those features that make it diverse.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!