Glossary of DE&I Terms

Elevating Purpose

  • Tamara Olori
  • 22 March 2023
  • 2 Min Read

Finding the right words can be difficult at times. To help with this, we’ve created a glossary of some of the key terms so we can keep the conversation going.

1. What is allyship and how do we act as an ally?

An ally is someone who is not a member of a marginalised group but who takes action to support that group. You could be an ally to anyone who has experienced unequal treatment based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, national origin, age, physical/mental abilities, and other categories that may result in differences in provision of goods, services, or opportunities.

2. What is the difference between equity and equality?

Equality refers to the condition under which every individual is treated in the same way, and is granted same rights and responsibilities, regardless of their individual differences. Equity involves working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique advantages or barriers.

3. Is it ED&I or DE&I?

You may have heard references to both the terms DE&I and ED&I when discussing diversity initiatives. The concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion have been around for a long time and while both acronyms describe these, many organisations argue that more focus should be placed on equity. An organisation can be both diverse and inclusive, but unless they ensure individuals are supported and able to reach their potential, well-intentioned diversity initiatives can appear disingenuous.

4. Unconscious bias vs conscious bias: What’s the difference?

Conscious bias refers to an inclination or preference that you are aware of, while unconscious or implicit bias refers to deep seated assumptions, we make about people who are different than us outside without even realising it.