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What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Transcript of audio provided below. Closed captioning coming soon. 

Diversity means variety.

In theory, it’s the inclusion of different types of people in a group or organization (such as people of different races or cultures). However simply inviting people in, isn’t inclusion. 

The problem with diversity as an additive approach is that an organization’s structure and culture aren’t always designed for everyone. So you have previously excluded groups who are now marginalized groups, often unconsciously striving to adapt and survive. This is a shadow job, a cognitive burden that can affect performance, and of course, a sense of belonging. 

Inclusion is very different.

Inclusion is:

  • Where no one is marginalized
  • Equitable practices help to level the playing field.
  • Systems and policies don’t oppress and marginalize. Barriers are dismantled.
  • Everyone feels respected and valued.
  • Everyone gets to show up as their true and authentic self.
  • Everyone feels like they belong.
 
An inclusive environment is where diversity is not only welcomed, but celebrated.

Diversity vs. Inclusion

When diversity is sought from an additive approach, it’s like trying to add puzzle pieces from another puzzle. They don’t fit, and there’s no room. The pieces are just going to float on the margins.

When we instead focus on inclusion:

  • we remove institutional barriers,
  • seek and celebrate diversity, and
  • create a culture and climate that allows every person to be their true, authentic self.

 

As a result, collaboration, creativity, and productivity improve!

Diversity vs Inclusion

How do you engineer equity into your organization?

Ask the inclusion engineers to help! We are trained engineers who are also educators for diversity, equity and inclusion. At Engineer Inclusion, we help people intentionally and systematically engineer equity and inclusion into their organizations: driving positive outcomes and effectively supporting employees and the community.

Let us help you reach your equity and inclusion goals. 

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Meagan Pollock, PhD

Dr. Meagan Pollock envisions a world where personal and social circumstances are not obstacles to achieving potential, and where kindness, inclusivity, and conservation prevail.

An international speaker, teacher, engineer, and equity leader, her mission is to provide services, tools, and resources that inspire awareness and initiate action.

As an engineer turned educator, Meagan Pollock is focused on engineering equity into education and the workforce.

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About EI

We help people intentionally and systematically engineer equity and inclusion into their organizations: driving positive outcomes and effectively supporting employees and the community.

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