The Very Important Distinctions Between Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion

October 5, 2020
LRN Corporation

The terms diversity, equity, and inclusion may seem similar, but the distinctions are important for chief ethics and compliance officers to understand as they move forward with DEI initiatives.

The distinctions coming out of each of those categories independently are something that is understated in this moment, said Tiffany Archer, regional ethics and compliance officer and corporate counsel at Panasonic Avionics. 

She spoke at a recent Consero Knowledge Bridge roundtable discussion moderated by LRN’s Ben DiPietro. 

Diversity is something that can be easily evaluated; CECOs can understand how demographics play out in their organization by comparing the percentages of employee races and genders. 

“Equity, to me, is more about whether or not we’re allowing for, and encouraging and empowering, fairness within an organization,” said Archer.

Inclusion in the workplace is about the qualitative aspect. It includes the soft skills that are required to understand what stakeholders need to feel empowered, included, and engaged in the process of change.

The distinctions are useful to help understand what kinds of DEI programs and initiatives should be focused on, and what kinds of change need to be enacted to have a truly accepting and inclusive culture, she said.

“In an effort to walk the walk, you not only need to be able to understand the distinction between D, E, and I, but you also need to be able to be pushing forward and modeling the behaviors, and holding those accountable to the extent they’re not abiding by what the organization’s bigger picture outlook is,” said Archer.

About the Author

LRN Corporation

Ethics and compliance leader providing tools, education, and advisory services for global companies to inspire principled performance. LRN’s overall approach recognizes the inherent limitations of rules and regulations in influencing behaviors. In our view, focusing on actions that help build and maintain a values-based culture will mean more compliance and reduced costs as a result of tangible and sustainable behavioral change.

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