Abstract Diversity management is a rethinking and reframing of equality management. It has particular significance in Europe with its increasingly diverse populations, homogenous leaders and aging workforce. Corporate websites are often the first point of call for prospective recruits, partners and investors, and they often contain ‘diversity statements’. This study investigates the web-based promotion of ‘diversity’ by 241 leading companies in eight European countries. This paper focuses particularly on the drivers and stages of diversity management and finds large differences across Europe. It identifies drivers for diversity management as better performance, enhancing corporate reputation and meeting stakeholder needs. The authors also found six stages of diversity management implementation and discuss their implications for human resource management.