Module 1: Key Concepts in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Employers and workers have mutual responsibilities in addressing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. As discussed in Module 5, employers have a legal duty to create a safe work environment. EDI strategies and policies constitute a tool in the employer’s toolbox to enable a safe campus/work climate. At the same time, individuals also play a role by practicing self-reflection and interrogating their assumptions about themselves and others.
Operationalizing ID/EDI in the Workplace
Employers operationalize EDI in various ways through:
- Talent acquisition (hiring), retention (evaluation) and advancement (promotion) processes, such as mitigating unconscious bias in the hiring processes. Bias is the preference or inclination of an individual or group over another that informs decision-making and actions.
- Education, training and professional development in cultural safety and inclusive leadership competencies (commitment, courage, collaboration, curiosity, consciousness of bias, cultural intelligence).
- Leveraging data to monitor progress against expected outcomes to demonstrate accountability and effective diversity and inclusion policies.
As mentioned above, diversity and inclusion strategies aim to strengthen the representation of equity groups in workplaces and to improve innovation and organizational performance by focusing on behavioural change at the individual level (“Diversity Wins”). Inclusion and diversity strategies do not directly address economic structures and political or legal institutions at the national or organizational levels that contribute to systemic racism and discrimination. By contrast, considerations of equity take racial (White supremacy), economic (capitalism) and social (gender) relations of power seriously.