by Adriana Montes
Originally published: July 7, 2017
In today’s world, most of us hear the words ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ too often in our industry, but what is diversity? Diversity is acknowledging that we are all different individuals and that such differences are what make us unique. Inclusion is what brings the concept of diversity to life.
Diversity is the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. The dimensions of diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class, and immigration status. While diversity itself is not a value-laden term, the way that people react to diversity is driven by values, attitudes, beliefs, and so on. Full acceptance of diversity is a major principle of social justice.
Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity at intellectual, social, cultural, and geographical levels with which individuals might connect in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.