Intersexuality and Trans-Identities within the Diversity Management Discourse

Köllen, Thomas (2016). Intersexuality and Trans-Identities within the Diversity Management Discourse. In: Köllen, Thomas (ed.) Sexual Orientation and Transgender Issues in Organizations - Global Perspectives on LGBT Workforce Diversity (pp. 1-20). Cham: Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-29623-4_1

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Within both the scientific discourse on workforce diversity, and diversity management practice, intersexuality and transgender issues have hitherto remained marginalized topics. This chapter gives an overview of the discourses on both phenomena, and proposes starting points for more inclusive organizational diversity management initiatives. It is shown that both topics represent different aspects of the category of “gender”. The common practice of conceptually lumping together intersexuality, transgenderism, and sexual orientation can be seen as one important reason that intersexuality and transgenderism are rarely considered in organizational diversity management programs in terms of concrete action. Against this background, a modified, and more integrated approach to structuring the workforce alongside the different dimensions of diversity is proposed. It is shown that the categories of “biological sex and gender”, “gender identity”, and “sexual orientation” cannot be regarded as being separate from each other. They represent, rather, an interrelated organizational field of action that should be considered as being one interrelated topic for organizational diversity practices. This chapter derives this claim theoretically and discusses the consequences for organizational diversity management practices. For most organizations, this would mean a fundamental rethinking of their goals, in terms of workforce diversity, and the shaping of their diversity management programs.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Organization and Human Resource Management > Human Resource Management

UniBE Contributor:

Köllen, Thomas


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations








Thomas Köllen

Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2018 15:05

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2019 18:35

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Intersex, Transgender, Transsexuality, Cisgender, LGBTI, Gender identity




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