Breaking down the language that makes inclusion inaccessible

Creating an inclusive workplace is not always an accessible process. The language itself can be a barrier.

So if you don’t know your diversity statement from your equal opportunities policy here’s a quick run down of what’s what!

D&I: simply stands for Diversity and Inclusion. 

ED&I: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Diversity: quite simply – who is in the room? Is there a range of different types of people – backgrounds, characteristics, roles, levels – in the room/team/conversation/organisation. 

Inclusion: from the people in the figurative room who is involved in decision-making? Who is represented at senior levels or in specific departments and roles. Who has been valued and represented in a business?

Equality: once there’s a range of people in the ‘room’ who can genuinely have a say through bringing their perspective and – most importantly – be listened to. There’s no point inviting a token Black woman to be on a board of all white men if she is just there to tick a box. 

Equity: equity looks beyond equality to the individual needs of an individual or group of people. Equity helps to level the playing field whereas equality merely gains people access to it. That is why we talk about racial equity, not equality, in our work. 

Equal opportunities: are upheld in The Equalities Act that all employees and prospective employees should be treated fairly, equally and without prejudice. The law requires businesses to have equalities policies in place. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily meet the remit of diversity and inclusion. 

Protected characteristics: several characteristics defined in The Equalities Act that employees cannot be discriminated against: age, sex, race, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and religious background. 

Racial equity provides opportunities and structures to counter the systemic structural racial inequity at the heart of society. 

Anti-racism: is a direct and proactive approach to tackling systemic racism including the undoing of institutionally oppressive practices and prejudice.  

Allyship: supporting a marginalised or underrepresented group and enabling wider change, typically through the use of one’s privilege.

Unconscious bias: the inherent, and often unrealised, biases that we have conditioned in us through growing up in a systemically racist and prejudiced society. 

To explore these areas in more depth in your business get in touch.

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