Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

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A catch-all term for diversity initiatives. Diversity means the “what” (the characteristics of the people you work with such as gender, ethnicity, age, disability and education). Inclusion means the “how” (the behaviours and social norms that ensure people feel welcome).

Diversity can take many forms, led by employing people from different races, nationalities and cultural backgrounds, and having a good mix of men and women across job functions, from the boardroom down. It means a clear non-discriminatory commitment to accept employees regardless of race, sexuality, religion, gender, disability or any other distinguishing factor. It can also apply to age by trying to have a good mix of people of differing life experiences, targeting a proportion of the workforce to be over 50s or under 30s. In some jurisdictions, having a quote of employees from non-white or other ethnic backgrounds through ‘positive discrimination’ has been practiced to promote diversity and avoid issues such as racism. This has been common practice in the US since the civil rights era. Following the end of apartheid in South Africa, ‘black empowerment’ similarly led to a policy of directly discriminating in favor of black candidates for jobs and business start-ups to improve diversity.

Also called: Culture, Diversity and Inclusion (CD&I), Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), Inclusion and Diversity (I&D)

Links

Diversity Forum website