What does Diversity, Equality & Inclusion mean?
Diversity The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
This means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Equality is the current term for ‘Equal Opportunities’ and is based on the legal obligation to comply with anti-discrimination legislation. Equality protects people from being discriminated against on the grounds of group membership i.e. sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief, or age.
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself
Inclusion is a collective effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated. These differences could be self-evident, such as national origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion/belief, gender, marital status and socioeconomic status. They could be more inherent, such as educational background, training, sector experience, organisational tenure, even personality, such as introverts and extroverts.
How does Diversity, Equality & Inclusion affect us as employees?Employees can rest assured that they will not be discriminated against in the workplace, and that they have equal opportunities for promotion and progression, and that they are only being assessed on their performance and measurable merits. They will feel empowered because they know that they are only being employed for their aptitude, just as is everyone else around them.
What is more, the employee can be confident that they will be given the right tools to do their job properly, which can be anything from proper disabled access, flexible working hours, and even good communication from all members of staff. When there are no barriers to job progression, the workforce feels more positive about their jobs and will be more committed to working hard for the company that is working hard for them. These sorts of diversity and equality initiatives create a real sense of understanding and respect throughout an organisation, which engenders a much better, more pleasant and productive working atmosphere for everyone.