The Distinction Between Diversity & Inclusion: It Might Not Be What You Think

Posted on 08/17/2020 12:00 am  /   August 2020

In over five decades since the Equal Employment Opportunity mandate has been in effect, we are still talking about diversity in the workplace. However, these discussions have shifted from creating a diverse workforce of women and people of color to creating an inclusive workplace that supports all people.

What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?
Some organizations feel that if they are diverse, they are also inclusive. There is a distinction between the two terms diverse and inclusive. The most straightforward difference between these two terms is that diversity is what you do as an organization; Inclusion is how your culture and environment allows people to thrive at work.

As most everyone understands, diversity includes hiring people because they are the right fit for the position, regardless of age, gender, cultural background, sexual orientation, or physical ability. These definitions are the how part of the diversity versus inclusion equation.

Inclusion is ensuring that everyone is supported in their work environment. Historically this has been seen as a challenge to women, people of different religious backgrounds, or those who are disabled. Inclusion for these groups would be providing workspace modifications and handicap bathrooms, a private room for nursing mothers, or time off for religious observances.

Lately, inclusion is becoming more of a topic in regards to LGBTQ+ employees. Inclusion is much more than gender-neutral bathrooms. It is fostering a company culture of inclusion and educating your teams on honoring their coworker’s pronoun preferences and allowing your employees to be called by their chosen name, regardless of the name that may appear on their legal documents.

Without an inclusive environment and culture, there is no actual diversity in your organization.

Submitted by Accounting Career Consultants