It is currently fashionable to herald “managing diversity” as an approach which signals a new dawn for equal opportunities. Within the management of diversity is a new, more positive approach to employee “‘difference” which prescribes the valuation of individuality and the abandonment of group based equality initiatives. In principle the focus on individuals suggests this approach lends itself particularly well to disabled employees who constitute a more heterogeneous group than women and ethnic minorities. The article evaluates this in the light of debates traditionally located within gender literatures and applies them to survey data gathered from UK HRM managers which details the disability equality initiatives adopted by their organisations. It argues that differences between disabled groups and those constituted on the basis of gender or race, together with differences amongst disabled people renders the group based and the managing diversity approach to equality largely rhetorical.
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