Diversity and inclusion: what does it mean?

The University of twente is Working to improve inclusion and diversity within our community. Inclusion and diversity are terms that are nowadays often used. But what does it exactly mean?

Diversity

Diversity is any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another: it’s about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education and national origin.

Each individual in an organisation brings with them a diverse set of perspectives, work and life experiences, as well as religious and cultural differences. The power of diversity can only be unleashed and its benefits reaped when we recognise these differences and learn to respect and value each individual irrelevant of their background.

Inclusion

Inclusion is an organisational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated. These differences could be self-evident, such as national origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion/belief, gender, marital status and socioeconomic status or they could be more inherent, such as educational background, training, sector experience, organisational tenure, even personality, such as introverts and extroverts.

Inclusion is a sense of belonging. Inclusive cultures make people feel respected and valued for who they are as an individual or group.

In simple terms, diversity is the mix and inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.