Read Time 3 minutes
Author udrafter
Date March 21, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What is the difference?

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Even though people from ethnic minority groups are just as qualified as their white peers, white employees in the United Kingdom are most likely to be promoted.

These days, diversity, equity, and inclusion (or DEI for short) are hot-button topics among a lot of businesses in the UK.

At the same time, though, many employers don’t know what the differences are between these 3 terms. Furthermore, some certainly don’t know how to make sure they’re prioritising them in their hiring strategy and HR initiatives.

If you can’t confidently define these terms, keep reading. Explained below are the key differences you need to know. You’ll also find some tips on how to create a more inclusive, equality-focused workplace.

What Is Diversity?

In a business context, the term “diversity” refers to the presence of difference within your company. This includes employing a wide range of races, gender identities, and ethnicities, as well as people from different socioeconomic backgrounds and people with disabilities.

What Is Equity?

The term “equity” is not synonymous with equality. In the context of the workplace, equality offers all employees the same benefits and incentives and treats them the same, without taking into account each person’s unique needs and experiences.

Equity, in contrast, recognises that some employees face systemic barriers that others don’t. It involves a concentrated effort to remove those barriers and fairly distribute resources to everyone with their specific needs and experiences factored into the equation.

What Is Inclusion?

Inclusion ensures that all employees feel welcomed and valued.

It’s not enough for an employer to just say that they value and appreciate all of their employees. They need to show that they do not prioritise certain employees over others, nor do they give people who look a certain way or come from certain backgrounds privileges that others don’t get.

Why You Need to Understand Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

These days, especially when they’re writing a job description or thinking about their hiring strategy, a lot of employers say that they are equal opportunity employers who don’t discriminate. That’s not enough, though.

They need to understand the differences between diversity, equity, and inclusion, and make sure that all three are reflected in the way they run their businesses and go about recruiting talent.

When you prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of your company, you will create a more hospitable, welcoming environment for all employees. This, in turn, leads to greater innovation, better levels of employee engagement, reduced employee turnover, and increased productivity.

If all employees feel represented, heard, valued, their work quality is likely to improve, isn’t it?

It’s important to note, too, that an understanding of and emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion will also help employers to attract early talent, especially members of Gen Z. Gen Zers are more likely to care about DEI than other generations, and they take it into account when deciding which companies they want to work for.

How to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity at Your Company

Now that you know more about the benefits of understanding and prioritising DEI — from a decreased employee attrition rate to an easier time hiring talent — let’s address some steps you can take to improve it at your company:

⦁ Involve the entire team, especially those who are members of underrepresented groups
⦁ Seek out and respond to all employee feedback
⦁ Rewrite job descriptions to make them more inclusive
⦁ Re-evaluate your HR strategy and get rid of potentially discriminatory practices — for example, replace the current resume review process with blind reviews, or utilise structured interviews so all candidates are asked the same questions
⦁ Re-evaluate your benefits and incentives to make them more inclusive and appealing to a larger range of people
⦁ Prioritise pay equity
⦁ Invest in DEI education for the whole team

It also helps to set specific KPIs (key performance indicators) for diversity, equity, and inclusion at your company, too. Then, revisit those KPIs each quarter to ensure you’re making progress toward a more inclusive workplace.

Create a High-Performance Team Culture with DEI Initiatives

Are you ready to make some positive changes to your company?

It may seem daunting to take on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at your business. However, it’s too important — and the potential benefits are too great — for you and your team to not try.

Whether you want to increase employee engagement, boost productivity, or appeal to members of Gen Z at work, focusing on DEI is the first step. Keep the tips listed above in mind so you can start creating a plan for your business.

If you need help diversifying your hiring pool and attracting early talent from a variety of backgrounds, check out Udrafter today. We offer a diverse, open marketplace that makes it easy for you to hire students and graduates in no time.

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