What Are Diversity and Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging?

  • Anita Rajendran-See
  • 18 Mar 2022
  • 3 MIN READ
Diversity has always been a part of certain cultures. In the workplace, it often looks like an opportunity to bring together different perspectives. However, equity, inclusion and belonging have become more challenging in recent years because of a variety of disruptive political, social, and economic factors. In addition, ideas of equity and belonging have also become more prevalent in corporations. The concept of “equity” means to have an equal and fair share of the resources you need to live with dignity, while the concept of “belonging” means to have a sense of fitting into a social group, of being included in a community. Combating DEIB issues in the workplace, organisations have created policies and programs to counter them. Awareness has been built up in the recent past and these are buzzwords in organisations, especially in the west. Businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to the new world order, which presents several challenges for companies. It is now more important than ever for companies to innovate, integrate and manage their human capital. Part of adapting to rapid technological and social change is restoring fundamental values like diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging. Since these values are quickly becoming the driving forces behind success in the modern business world, companies that cannot sustain themselves by tapping into these forces will fall behind in their industries and become less competitive. Let’s look at these concepts.
Grokking These 4 Core Corporate Culture Concepts
Here is a brief description of these core concepts: 1. Diversity: The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect where there is an understanding that each individual is unique and yet different. Diversity is when organisations empower people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin. Diversity is embracing what makes people unique and celebrating their differences. Diversity is making a concrete effort to bring in different types of talent and create versatility within the organisation.

2. Inclusion:

Inclusion, seen as a universal human right, is the practice of providing everyone with equal access to opportunities and resources which allow them to contribute to an organisation’s success and let go of discrimination and intolerance. Inclusion is almost always added in with diversity but it can stand on its own. It is where the organisation has a culture in which a diverse group of people can get together, feel comfortable and confident to be themselves in a psychologically safe space, work in a way that suits them and deliver the organisation’s needs.

3. Equity:

Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances and allocates exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. An equity approach emphasises that everyone should not be treated the same but according to their own needs. For equity to exist, certain standards must be met. The basic principle of equity is that everyone should be able to earn a living doing work that is valued by society.

4. Belonging:

Social belonging is a fundamental human need deeply embedded into our DNA. To feel left out is something that all of us have felt at some point or another and we are fundamentally social beings. Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance at work, bringing a strong sense of identity and value to you. Someone who feels that they belong feels welcomed and accepted just for being who they are without a need to apologise or wear a false persona to fit into corporate culture.

Are these core concepts part of your organisation’s DNA?

Diversity, inclusivity, equity, and belonging are values that have been around for a long time. Culturally, we have always appreciated these values. However, these values are more important to defend now than ever before because of the environment of change that we are in right now. There is an urgency to keep moving the needle forward.

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