Diversity & Inclusion Explained

Diversity refers to the mix of people in an organisation – that is, all the differences between people in how they identify in relation to their:

  • SOCIAL IDENTITY e.g., Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, disability status, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and socio-economic background.
  • PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY e.g., profession, education, work experiences, organisational level, functional area, division/ department, and location.

These aspects come together in a unique way for each individual and shape the way they view and perceive their world and workplace – as well as how others view and treat them.

Inclusion refers to getting the mix of people in an organisation to work together to improve performance and wellbeing. Inclusion in a workplace is achieved when a diversity of people (e.g., ages, cultural backgrounds, genders, perspectives) feel that they are:

  • RESPECTED for who they are and able to be themselves;
  • CONNECTED to their colleagues and feel they belong;
  • CONTRIBUTING their perspectives and talents to the workplace; and
  • PROGRESSING in their career at work (i.e. have equal access to opportunities and resources).

It is only through inclusion that organisations can make the most out of diversity.