What is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion?
What is Diversity?
Diversity describes the unique compilation of individual and group/social differences that help make us who we are. These similarities and differences can be seen (i.e., skin color) or unseen (i.e., sexual orientation) and can be fixed (i.e., ethnicity) or fluid (i.e., gender identity). Components of diversity can include, but are not limited to, national origin, language, race, color, disability/ability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, family structures, body size, life experiences, and personality features. Within a workplace, diversity is the mixture of identities and voices represented.
What is Equity?
Equity centers on fairness and differs from equality. To better understand equity, consider the illustration below. On the left side of the image, the watchers are being treated equally, as each person has been given the same resource to help them see over the fence. However, as you can see, not everyone receives equal benefit from the same level of assistance. Equity involves allocating the appropriate resources that each person needs to achieve equal outcomes. In the equity image, the individuals are given different supports, based on differing needs and circumstances, to allow equal access to the game. Equity is critical until justice can be achieved, which requires removal of the systemic barriers that caused the initial outcome inequality.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion describes an active process of creating an environment that fosters acceptance, support, and respect. In inclusive environments, the input and perspectives of all individuals are valued. Inclusion is reflected in an organization's culture, practices, and provisions to support a diverse workforce.