Diversity and inclusion are hot topics that together create lots of search quests & questions online. In fact if you would put this into a figure, Answer the Public says it would look something like this:
To me this variety of questions shows that the subject needs some clarification and explanation, so here we go:
Diversity refers to the variety of differences among individuals in a group, including differences in sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and more. Research on diversity refers to the scientific study of various aspects of diversity, including its impact on individuals and organisations, as well as strategies to encourage diversity. This research has shown that diversity can bring a variety of benefits, including improved decision-making, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, as well as increased understanding and empathy for others. However, diversity can also lead to challenges, such as prejudice, discrimination, and tension among different groups.
Overall, the field of diversity research seeks to understand the complexities and benefits of diversity, and to identify effective strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion in various settings. Let’s move to inclusion. As shown in the figure above, these two are often used together. Let’s find out why.
Inclusion refers to creating an environment where all individuals feel valued, respected, and supported, regardless of their differences. This involves actively working to remove barriers and promote equal opportunities for all. Research on inclusion refers to the scientific study of various aspects of inclusion, including benefits and challenges. Studies have found that inclusion is crucial for creating a positive work environment and improving organisational performance. Inclusive environments can lead to increased employee engagement, job satisfaction, and well-being, as well as improved decision-making and innovation.
However, research also shows that many organisations face challenges in promoting inclusion, including unconscious bias, lack of diversity in leadership, and resistance to change.
You should ask yourself the nature of the need for this terminology. Why do we need these words? A small history lesson teaches us that these words came to life to maintain inequality as a status quo. They were a response to last centuries civil rights & feminist movements. Why do they maintain inequality? Because they focus on being “the other”, which then by definition is not the norm. What we actually need is equivalency to make sure discrimination and power abuse are not disguised as something good you are doing for your community or work environment.
Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash
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