Intro To Diversity and Inclusion Diversity and Inclusion terms and language Lesson 5: Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) key terms

Many of the terms used when discussing diversity and inclusion may be unfamiliar to you. We have given the meaning of some of the most used words below.

Please read carefully, you’ll be tested on them shortly!


Is about recognising different backgrounds, knowledge and skills and valuing these within the workplace.


Is when people feel valued and accepted in their team and the wider organisation without having to conform.

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I):

Should be developed together for the most positive impact on the workplace. D&I is an acronym used by community interest groups, policy makers and HR professionals who want to create cultural change.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI):

Many community interest groups, policy makers and HR professionals now recognise that initiatives to improve Diversity & Inclusion are limited by a wider inequality in society or the workplace. As a result, EDI has become a more commonly used acronym since it recognises that not everybody has the same starting point. EDI sometimes stands for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Organisations that really want to make a difference will attempt to address the starting point in addition to the more traditional challenges preventing diversity and inclusion (such as unconscious bias, inflexible working hours; lack of transparency when advertising roles, etc).

Related terms (depicted in the pictures below):

Inequality describes a situation where there is unequal access to resources.

Equality describes a situation where there are evenly distributed tools and assistance.

Equity describes a situation in which tools have been customised to address inequality.

Justice describes a situation where the system has been fixed to provide equal access to resources.


A special right, advantage or immunity granted to a particular person or group or a lack or absence of barriers that make life easier generally.


An adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge is obtained. It can also be an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, group, race, or their supposed characteristics.

Unconscious bias

Personal experiences, stereotypes and the cultural environment can all impact your decisions and actions. Unconscious bias can play out in the workplace by influencing decisions around recruitment, promotion, and performance management.

For more definitions of related terms please see our WISE Lexicon

Language icons created by Freepik – Flaticon