Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

Key Difference – Diversity vs Inclusion

 

Diversity and inclusion are two concepts that we often speak of in many social situations between which a key difference can be identified. You may have heard of organizational goals where an organization promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion. What does this mean? This article attempts to clarify the difference between these two words with examples. First let us have a look at the two words. Diversity highlights the differences that people have on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Inclusion highlights the need to incorporate different people in a singular platform where they are respected and valued. As you can see, the key difference between diversity and inclusion is that while diversity focuses on the differences, inclusion focuses on involving all these different people.

What is Diversity?

Diversity highlights the differences that people have on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. In a society, people come from various backgrounds. For instance, my ethnicity can be completely different to another person in the society that I live in. When people come from such different backgrounds, they usually tend to encounter difficulties in managing their work with others. This is mainly because people have their ways of thinking, practices, value systems and even prejudices. These often tend to clash with others while working.

For example, in a working environment, there is a diversity of people. They can come from different ethnic groups, different classes and have different sexual orientations.  These employees each have their perception. So when the employees are put together for various projects certain issues can arise due to this diversity as people fail to comprehend the point of view of others. However, diversity can be transformed into an asset if individuals develop awareness of their differences and learn to respect them.

Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion highlights the need to incorporate different people in a singular platform where they are respected and valued. Some believe inclusion as a step beyond diversity, where people with differences are put together. The specialty of inclusion is that it encourages participation of all individuals and also guarantees equal treatment. It caters to the needs of all individuals and enables them to reach their highest potential.

In organizations, the concept of inclusion is promoted with the intention of fostering a positive environment where different individuals’ voices are heard and respected. This also creates an ambiance where people with diversity can work with others in collaboration. Promoting inclusion can benefit organizations as it brings about different points of view that can lead to organizational success.

Key Difference - Diversity vs Inclusion

What is the difference between Inclusion and Diversity?

Definitions of Diversity and Inclusion:

Diversity: Diversity highlights the differences that people have on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.

Inclusion: Inclusion highlights the need to incorporate different people in a singular platform where they are respected and valued.

Characteristics of Diversity and Inclusion:

Emphasis:

Diversity: The emphasis is on the differences that people have.

Inclusion: The emphasis is on making all these different people involved.

People:

Diversity: Diversity does not encourage people to participate.

Inclusion: Inclusion encourages people to participate as they feel valued.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. Milbank Diversity Committee By Almsft67 [CC BY-SA 2.5] via Commons

2. Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2013 22 By Christopher Schwarzkopf (WMDE) (Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2013) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons