What is DEI – Diversity? – The Complete Guide

What does DEI mean? [last updated December 2020]

Defining DEI Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

What is Inclusion in simple words?

Inclusion is about each person feeling valued and connected. Everyone thrives in an environment where our inherent worth is recognized, we can be safe to express our authentic selves and we know we belong to something bigger.

What is Diversity in simple words?

Diversity is about a rich mix of differences. It encompasses all the dimensions that make each person one of a kind, including ethnicity, race, age, style, gender, personality, beliefs, experiences, sexual orientation and more. Psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among all individuals. A diverse group, community, or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist

What is Equity in simple words?

Equity levels the playing field. The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented full participation of some groups. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society. Equity is the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.   

Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the aforementioned areas. Bullying, harassment or victimization are also considered as equality and diversity issues.

Diversity vs Inclusion

Diversity doesn’t contradict Inclusion. The extraordinary happens at the intersection of inclusion and diversity. When we come together, the power of each one of us is magnified. By including and appreciating diverse perspectives and backgrounds, we create a stronger commitment, more innovative solutions and better results.

What is Equality and Diversity?

Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favourably , on the basis of their specific protected characteristics, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.

As you can see from the illustration, the best way to provide equity and equality is by removing the Systemic Barrier.

Left image shows three children of various heights standing behind a solid wooden fence while trying to watch a baseball game. In order to see over the fence to watch the baseball game the children used one box each of equal size and shape to stand on. The first child is the tallest and can see over the solid wooden fence very easily to view a baseball game. The second child is shorter but still able to easily view the baseball game. The third child is quite a bit shorter and cannot view the baseball game at all when standing on the box. (It is assumed that everyone will benefit from the same supports. They are being treated equally.)

Middle image shows the same three children of various heights still standing behind a solid wooden fence while trying to watch a baseball game. This time however, in order to see over the fence to watch the baseball game the children are now combining the same three equally sized square boxes. The first child is the tallest and can see over the solid wooden fence to view a baseball game without using a box. The second child is shorter, but with one box is still able to easily view the baseball game. The third child is quite a bit shorter but now has two boxes to stand on and can now view the baseball game. (Individuals are given different supports to make it possible for them to have equal access to the game. They are being treated equitably.)

Right image shows three children of various heights standing behind a chain link fence while watching a baseball game. Since each child can see through the fence there is no need for any boxes for them to stand on. (All three can see the game without any supports or accomodations because the cause of the inequity was addressed. The systemic barrier has been removed.)

All Types of Diversity

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Diversity covers board domains across many areas, it is the full experience of human. Here are some of the most popular types of diversity.

 The same guide can be applied to the society, community as well In this comprehensive guide I will cover:

  • What are the major Diversity Type Dimensions in the workplace and Society
  • What are the four types of diversity?
  • What are the major different Diversity Types in a diverse work environment, Community?
  • What are some diversity examples for each diversity type?
  • What do we mean by diversity

Social Diversity

Social Diversity meaning a successful community in which individuals of different socioeconomic status, education, language, geographical origin, mental health, physical health( e.g. permanent disability) gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, religious beliefs, bring their different knowledge, background, experience and interest for the benefit of their diverse community. Social Diversity is also called as societal diversity.

Diversity is important in the workplace

Diversity can bring many benefits to society, the workplace, and communities. Strong diversity and inclusion practices also help businesses to recruit talented employees. Research by PwC shows that over 80 percent of millennial workers name a company’s diversity and inclusion policy as an important factor in considering a job offer. 

Before you can do anything about it, you should learn about the many reasons why diversity is important to you, your organizations, and even your customers.

Diversity is evidently to have many benefits to a diverse workplace environment. However, working is not the only activity that we perform daily, we also have our social lives, our relationships in our community. In this article, we will learn:

  • Why diversity is important to our society?
  • Why is cultural diversity is important?
  • Why is diversity important in school?

There are many reasons why diversity is important, diversity is important because:

  1. Opening up Productivity power
  2. Reduce Discriminations and Racism
  3. More Colorful life experience
  4. Building a more balanced world
  5. Inviting more investments
  6. More creativities and ideas

Top Diversity & Inclusion Statistics in Human Resources

Companies need diversity. It is beneficial to an organization to think with a wider breadth of perspectives, it portrays a positive image to the public eye, and gives them access to the potential revenue gains from employing people who can contribute different things to the companies they work for.

Unfortunately, hiring diversity is an issue that has only recently begun to improve.

Here are top eleven HR Diversity Statistics why your team needs to change their mind about diversity hiring and five ways to help you begin to do so.

Diversity Program and Strategy in the workplace

Now, after you understand the importance of Diversity and Inclusion, you should define your goals and objectives about diversity.

When creating a strategy for D&I program, you will need to:

  • Define the need
  • Set a goal
  • Measure change

It is important to know that setting a goal is the most important factor in changes. There are at least two types of goals you can set, demographics and cultural goals.

Diversity Training builds a diverse workplace

Diversity training is a professional training program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction across different diversity types to reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively in a business or team environment.

Diversity training in office environment addresses all of the unique things about employees – culture, education, gender expression, religion, indigenous, race, people of colour, ethnicity, language, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender, socio-economic status, age, and physical and mental disability

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Do you think you can execute all your D&I strategy and program on your own? of course not. You will need helps and you need to train your leaders and staff.

Diversity Recruiting

Diversity recruiting is not about meeting a quota to be a “diverse employer, and it is not a reason to hire less qualified. There is a misconception that you can’t hire the most qualified candidate if you hire for diversity.

How to use Diversity in job hiring decisions?

Diversity should be a factor and a consideration in your hiring decision, and not the sole factor that determines your hiring decisions.

Diversity Staffing and Hiring Best Practices

So you ask, how do you build a diverse and inclusive workplace in the workplace? I’d say, it all starts with your hiring. You can’t turn a group of in-diverse workforce to become a diverse workforce overnight.

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Where to Post and Find good Diversity Jobs?

We have collected and selected a list of top recruiting job boards for Diversity and inclusion. Many companies and organizations that value EDI would post on these site.

Diversity Statements – How to Write it

In the higher education sector, it has become more popular for higher education and academic institutions to put diversity and inclusion as a strategic organizational goal of the organization. Higher education are becoming more intentional and programmatic about their efforts to embrace principles of inclusion, equity, justice, and diversity throughout campus life. As they do so, they are more focused on finding faculty who have experiences and competencies that can contribute to these efforts. 

Gender Bias and Diversity

Gender bias is the act of favouring men and/or boys over women and/or girls, or vice versa. In today’s world, since we have many types of genders. In reality, it doesn’t limit to only male or female, gender bias applies to all type of genders in diversity. Gender discrimination describes the situation in which people are treated differently simply because they are male or female, rather than on the basis of their individual skills or capabilities.

What is Gender Bias?

Indigenous and Diversity

In countries like Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, there are a large population of indigenous people whose ancestors contributed a lot to the local culture. In the guide below, you can learn more about indigenous and diversity.

Permanent Disability is one of many protected attributes of discrimination

The definition of Disability is slightly different depends on different countries. The most accepted definition is from WHO.

What is Specific Learning Disability?

Specific learning disability is defined as “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.” This disability category includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia (a type of language disorder). A specific learning disorder is a relatively new classification that groups together reading-related (dyslexia) and math-related (dyscalculia) disorders under a single umbrella. 

Suggested Reading for Race and Racism

There are too many great books about racism, anti-racism, or black lives matter. I have selected a few that you may be interested in. Enjoy!

Diversity is about a rich mix of differences. It encompasses all the dimensions that make each person one of a kind, including ethnicity, race, age, style, gender, personality, beliefs, experiences, sexual orientation and more.

Inclusion is about each person feeling valued and connected. Everyone thrives in an environment where our inherent worth is recognized, we can be safe to express our authentic selves and we know we belong to something bigger.

Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favourably , on the basis of their specific protected characteristic, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.

Equity levels the playing field. Equity has the goal of providing everyone with the full range of opportunities and benefits 

Suburbs tend to have less diversity because they have less population density to begin with. When you have less people, the number of diverse people that are around is less, and the chance that you see the reduced number of diverse people in a less populated area is much lesser.

In addition, less number of people will move into a less dense area in a year, the chance to have sustain diverse people to move to those suburbs are also lower.

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Details of DEI definition

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About the author

Susan R.

Sue Rice is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory