Skills 360 – What is DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Skills 360 LESSON - DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on the impact and implications of DEI – or diversity, equity, and inclusion – on the workplace.

As part of the “social” aspect of ESG, DEI has exploded in importance in recent years. Over 50% of employees in the US believe this increasing attention is warranted. And, as we discussed in our last lesson, customers are increasingly discerning when it comes to ethical performance.

So, it’s not just your HR manager who’s thinking about this anymore. The companies that are excelling in this area have it baked in at every level. And that includes commitments at the C-suite level. Given this explosion of attention, it’s worth unpacking exactly what we mean by these terms, and what it means for the workplace.

“Diversity” refers to the presence of different people in an organization. And while we might immediately think about gender and race, we’re also talking about age, disabilities, religion, and sexual orientation, just to name a few. Diverse organizations have many different people. “Inclusion” is an atmosphere where all these people feel a sense of belonging. And where there are systems in place to make them feel welcome and valued.

“Equity” can often get confused with “equality,” but it’s really not the same. Equity acknowledges that not everyone has the same starting point, and that some people might need additional support to take advantage of opportunities. So companies committed to equity focus on systems and processes that create fairness and recognize those different starting points.

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