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What is Diversity Equity and Inclusion?

What is Diversity Equity and Inclusion?

Diversity equity and inclusion is a movement that uses education to recognize and address how power, privilege, and society affect our personal identities. It also works to ensure equal employment opportunities within companies, as well as recognizing differences in backgrounds, cultures, skills, and perspectives.

It’s also important to note that diversity is not just skin color or socioeconomic status — it’s also differences in sexual orientation and ethnicity, for example. Diversity equity and inclusion emphasize understanding and empathy as key elements to creating a truly diverse and inclusive team.

That being said, the definition of diversity has evolved over time, but one thing remains true: Understanding why we need diversity equity, and inclusion is the first step to creating more diversity in the workplace.

What do 'diversity', 'equity', and 'inclusion' mean?

Diversity is often used to describe the differences in people that affect their opportunities, successes, and experiences. Diversity factors include aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, and more. Equity means fairness for all. It refers to the practices needed to overcome historical barriers faced by certain groups in order to access resources equally. Equity requires deliberate effort and accountability at every level of the organization to provide fair treatment, inclusive decision-making processes, and unbiased support. Inclusion is about acknowledging diversity by creating an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome, and respected. It’s more than just an expectation; it’s workplace culture that reflects leadership commitment.

What is the Difference between DEI and EDI?

Diversity equity and inclusion are terms that are used interchangeably when referring to the importance of considering how race, ethnicity, gender identity, and other differences affect people in the workplace. EDI is just a part of DEI. Some organizations use the abbreviation EDI to refer specifically to ethnic diversity issues.

We feel that differentiating between diversity and equity best reflects what’s actually going on at a company level. Inclusion is important, but it can’t happen without first removing barriers that people from underrepresented backgrounds face in society and the workplace.

So even though many people use DEI and EDI interchangeably, we decided to use both terms to make it clear that diversity is about seeing differences, and equity is about equality and inclusion. It is about creating an environment where everyone feels welcome.

What does 'cultural competence' mean?

Cultural competence refers to the ability of an organization (employee or employer) to interact with people from different cultures. This includes being able to understand and respond respectfully to differences, especially when the situation requires immediate action.

What does 'multiculturalism' mean?

Multiculturalism generally refers to a system that allows for a variety of cultures within a society. In business terms, it’s about ensuring that all employees are valued for their differences.

What does the 'diversity maturity model' refer to?

The diversity maturity model refers to moving through five stages of DEI understanding, from initial unawareness to full acceptance and support of DEI initiatives. It’s often used to measure progress in the workplace by determining how aware people are about EDI issues and how actively they’re working to make a difference.

What does 'unconscious bias' mean?

Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes and stereotypes we develop through our upbringing, experiences, and environment, which influence our behavior toward certain groups of people. Unconscious biases can lead us to unintentionally discriminate against others without meaning too. This kind of bias is different from intentional discrimination, which people know to be wrong.

How can you take steps toward becoming more DEI-inclusive?

There are many ways that companies can become more DEI-inclusive workplaces. You can look inward at your current culture and practices or outward to see how other organizations are leading the way in having a more inclusive work environment. There is a lot of information about best practices, tips, and tricks online, so there’s no reason not to become educated and take action.

Think deeply about why you feel the need for DEI in your workplace.

    • Are you looking to diversify your talent pool?

    • Do you want employees from different backgrounds to feel welcome?

    • Or, do you want to build an inclusive work environment so everyone can feel comfortable doing their best work?

3 Questions to promote diversity equity and inclusion in the workplace

To get started, try asking these questions:

  1. how might our company benefit from EDI efforts?
  2. How does DEI affect my everyday life?
  3. What are some of the barriers that people face when it comes to DEI issues in the workplace?

Start conversations about EDI in your workplace by asking these questions of everyone, including managers, supervisors, and employees. Use what you learn to create a plan that works for all involved. Have an open dialogue with others who are interested in DEI so they can help identify the problems, develop solutions, and implement changes over time.

There will be challenges, setbacks and unforeseen issues along the way, but...

The most important thing to remember about DEI

The most important thing to remember about becoming a more DEI-inclusive organization is that you’re not going to solve all the problems overnight. There will be challenges, setbacks, and unforeseen issues along the way, but if your company’s mission is important to you, it’s worth fighting for.

What is Diversity in DEI?

Diversity is the state of being varied or different from one another, especially in some aspects. This includes things like race, sex, genetic background, gender identity and expression, and personal beliefs or values. Diversity in DEI includes everyone no matter their differences.

What is Equity in DEI?

Equity refers to fairness or justice. Equity is a fair and just way of being. It’s about giving all people the same access to resources that will help them succeed.

What is Inclusion in DEI?

Inclusion refers to making everyone feel welcomed and valued in a group environment. It’s about creating an atmosphere where everyone can contribute their best work without fear of reprisal. It’s not enough to make sure everyone has the same opportunities, you also need to give them the ability to take part in those opportunities.

What is the difference between D&I and DEI?

Diversity and Inclusion both work towards the same goal, but there are some key differences between the two. Diversity is a measurable term while inclusion is a mindset. Diversity includes all kinds of people while inclusion only focuses on those who feel excluded from certain opportunities in their workplace or community.

Why is diversity equity and inclusion important?

Diversity Equity and Inclusion are all necessary to create a fair and just work environment for everyone. Inclusion means that no matter who you are, where you come from, what skills or abilities you have, or what talents you possess – if you want to be involved in an opportunity, your organization will give you the ability to take part. Diversity is important because it’s more representative of the world we live in. If everyone is not given the same opportunities, there is no true equity.

What is equity diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity Equity and Inclusion are important because it creates a culture where everyone can feel safe to focus on their work. Everyone is given the same opportunities no matter race, sex, sexuality, or any other factor that might come into play when being judged based on appearance. It’s a way to foster creativity and innovative thinking in an environment where people feel free to be themselves.

6 Benefits of DEI in the workplace

    • Encourages more innovation and creativity

    • Creates a sense of ownership in the company that everyone is working towards reaching one goal [together]

    • Provides greater opportunities for everyone involved [not just those who may have been given the opportunity to succeed in the past]

    • Reduces stress and increases overall happiness among employees.

    • It also helps attract and retain the best employees.

    • Decreases discrimination and harassment in the workplace and makes it a more pleasant environment for everyone to work in.

3 Steps to Measure Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Your Workplace:

    1. Put together a survey that your employees can fill out anonymously asking them questions about their job. Do they feel included? Are there any practices where they feel like they’re being discriminated against or treated differently because of who they are? Is there anything they want changed about the company culture to make it more inclusive for everyone?
    2. Do an internal analysis of your hiring practices. Are you getting men and women applicants in equal numbers? If not, why aren’t they applying? Do you have a hostile work environment where women feel like they can’t succeed because of their gender?
    3. Analyze your retention rates. Are there certain populations quitting more frequently than others? If so, why are they unhappy with their work environment? Do they feel like the company is trying to make it a more inclusive space for everyone or was this not really a goal from the start?

DEI is a mindset and it takes time to change the culture of an organization.

What should you do next?

No matter what, remember that DEI is a mindset and it takes time to change the culture of an organization. Don’t just sit on your hands after you’ve done everything you can to measure equity and inclusion in the workplace. Take action! Actively search for more opportunities to make sure everyone is included in their work environment. Hold diversity workshops to make sure people feel comfortable expressing themselves and if they don’t, try to figure out a way to make everyone feel safe in the workplace.

Why is diversity equity and inclusion a struggle for Corporate America?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial in the workplace. However, there are other parts of corporate America that have struggled with these issues more than others. It is mainly because they don’t have an effective way to measure how inclusive their work environment is. They also do not have a process to proactively do anything about it when issues arise. Some businesses may not even be aware that this is a problem in their workplace because they haven’t looked into it enough to see it. If you work in a culture of silence, this may be an indicator.

How to spot if there may be something going on with your company's DEI

When an issue comes up, people are obviously uncomfortable and don’t want to talk about it. Some may not even know how to bring it up either because they’re afraid of the repercussions or they just don’t know where to start. It can become a case where if there’s nothing being done about this for a while, no one wants to rock the boat because it could make everyone abuzz, and then management on top of that might not know how to react either. This is a cycle that needs to be broken, especially if there’s a reason for your employees not to feel included.

3 Red Flags that may indicate that your company needs to address DEI

1. Employees are afraid to speak with you about anything.

2. There’s a lot of pushback and no action is taken whenever diversity, equity, or inclusion concerns arise.

3. There are high turnover rates for certain groups in the workplace that aren’t as common throughout the organization.

What do Diversity Equity and Inclusion mean to ESG?

ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance factors. It’s a way of measuring potential risks or issues caused by companies in order to help people make better decisions on where they’d like to work or put their money. It can also be used as a reputation management technique when corporations aren’t particularly happy with the direction the business is going in. ESG ratings help to monitor a company’s performance on a wide range of issues including Social factors, and can be used when determining if you want to invest in them.

For example, if you have very few employees of color in leadership roles, it wouldn’t be very beneficial for them to bring up concerns about discrimination in the workplace because they probably won’t feel heard. The same goes for women who do not feel included or represented at all throughout their company. If everyone is not properly involved and included in ESG, then there will always be questions about whether a company is truly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. All of these things are interconnected and it’s more difficult for a company to accomplish all of them instead of just one at a time.

What do Diversity Equity and Inclusion mean to Stakeholders?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a struggle for Corporate America since it was founded. There are many different factors why this is the case from lack of effective measures to no one wanting to rock the boat because they don’t know how management will respond. Many organizations need to focus on what’s going on within their walls before taking a more global perspective on DEI.

In the end, diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial for any business because it creates a more welcoming work environment for everyone. It’s very important to make sure that your organization is committed to this before disclosing itself as an ESG corporation. All of these things are interconnected and must be addressed in order for companies to truly be living up to their values. If there’s a problem in one area, it will always impact the other two areas as well.

What do Diversity Equity and Inclusion mean to Governance?

Governance is very important in this case because no business can thrive if it isn’t running smoothly. It needs to be a priority throughout different levels of leadership or else there will always be issues that are swept under the rug. If your organization wants to focus on ESG, then you need to make sure that DEI is being taken care of as well. In the end, many organizations must first concentrate on what’s going on inside their walls before taking a more global view of DEI. Before announcing themselves as an ESG organization, it’s critical that your company is dedicated to this. All of these factors are linked and must be addressed in order for businesses to truly live up to their principles. If one area is faulty, it will have an impact on the other two areas as well.

Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility (Deia) in the workplace

DEI also includes people with disabilities and accessibility issues. Recent changes in awareness have helped people to understand that they need to take certain measures to ensure they’re providing a welcoming work environment for everyone. Organizations have also been working on developing different strategies and steps in order for them to be more aware of potential accessibility concerns throughout the workplace. These include things such as having subtitles on presentations and videos so people with hearing impairments can still access the information, or providing employment opportunities to disabled veterans because they have unique skill sets that could be very beneficial for the company. It also means incorporating accessibility features into your website and computer systems.

For example, employers need to ensure that people with disabilities can use special software and hardware like voice dictation and screen readers for those who are blind. By incorporating the necessary measures of accessibility throughout your workplace, you’ll be ahead of what other companies are doing and will help provide a more welcoming environment for all.

What is diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?

Deib stands for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Deib is a movement to make the workforce more diverse, equitable, and inclusive of all identities, backgrounds & perspectives with an environment where people can belong at work.

Cultural competence is the ability to work effectively with people from diverse cultures.

What are diversity equity inclusion and cultural competence?

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competence are interconnected concepts. The main difference is that diversity focuses on the differences between people, equity recognizes that everyone does not have an equal opportunity in society and inclusion is about being valued and welcomed in organizations. Cultural competence is the ability to work effectively with people from diverse cultures.

What are diversity equity inclusion and justice (DEIJ)?

Deij focuses on how diversity and inclusion can be part of an organization’s culture, not just a program or initiative. Many people in leadership positions tend to overlook the importance of this for their employees and managers which leads to a lack of awareness in many organizations.

Using elements from all three concepts is what Deij was created to encompass. Organizations that focus on this concept often look at diversity as a way of bringing people together for a better outcome.

What are diversity equity inclusion and authentic leadership?

Authentic leaders are committed to change management that will develop, empower, and retain all workers – including those with disabilities. Inauthentic leaders may appear progressive but actually perpetuate discriminatory policies and practices.

Authentic leadership is about practicing an inclusive leadership style that embraces diversity and strives for equity and inclusion. If your organization is committed to this concept, it means you’re proactively taking steps to reduce the barriers that people with disabilities face in order to reach their full potential within the company.

In Summary DEI & EDI

To summarize this article, the three concepts of diversity, equity & inclusion are closely tied together and all play a role in creating an environment where people feel welcome. These concepts also need to be implemented at leadership levels so that they affect the day-to-day working lives of everyone within their organization.

DEI is about making sure your leadership team and management understand what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to the organization. It’s also about setting up policies that promote inclusiveness throughout your organization so that everyone can feel valued, included, and welcome in whatever role they’re playing within the company.

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Caveats and Disclaimers

We have covered many topics in this article and want to be clear that any reference to, or mention of diverse teams, inclusion efforts, inclusive environment, same place, organizational level, given setting, employee experience, business case, new skills, people differ, hr professionals, diverse, inclusion, 9, community and other factors. We have also talked about what DEI stands for, diversity and inclusion defined, diversity vs. equity vs. inclusion, diversity vs. inclusion vs. equity, physical or mental impairment, national origin, gender expression, and targeted racial groups. The mention of other DEI subjects including the issues of more women at the same time in leadership, the latest research and resources, or a sense of understanding in the context of this article is purely for informational purposes and not to be misconstrued with investment advice or personal opinion. Thank you for reading.



Research & Curation

Dean Emerick is a curator on sustainability issues with ESG The Report, an online resource for SMEs and Investment professionals focusing on ESG principles. Their primary goal is to help middle-market companies automate Impact Reporting with ESG Software. Leveraging the power of AI, machine learning, and AWS to transition to a sustainable business model. Serving clients in the United States, Canada, UK, Europe, and the global community. If you want to get started, don’t forget to Get the Checklist! ✅

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