The Oxford Review DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Dictionary
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The Oxford Review DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Dictionary

Oxford Review Dictionary of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)

The is a comprehensive and growing dictionary / encyclopaedia of definitions and explanations of terms used in DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). Within the DEI dictionary you can click on any term for a fuller explanation.

Contents

A

  • Ableism – Discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities.
  • Ableism Awareness – Recognising and challenging discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.
  • Ableism in Society – The societal practices and beliefs that devalue and discriminate against people with disabilities.
  • Ableist Language – Language that is offensive to people with disability, an important consideration in creating inclusive communication practices.
  • Ability-Centric Language – Language that prioritises abilities, which can unintentionally marginalise those with disabilities.
  • Acceptance vs. Tolerance – Differentiating between fully accepting diverse individuals as they are (acceptance) versus merely tolerating their presence (tolerance).
  • Access to Capital – The availability of financial resources, often a barrier for underrepresented entrepreneurs and communities.
  • Access to Advancement – Ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds have equitable opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • Access to Education – Ensuring that people from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to receive quality education.
  • Access to Healthcare – Addressing disparities in healthcare availability and quality among different populations, an important equity issue.
  • Access to Resources – Ensuring equitable availability and distribution of resources to all groups, especially those historically marginalized.
  • Accessibility – Refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.
  • Accessibility in Design – The practice of designing products, environments, and digital content that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Accessible Digital Content – Creating online materials that are easily accessible to people with different abilities, including those with visual, auditory, or cognitive impairments.
  • Accessibility in Education – Ensuring that educational materials, environments, and practices are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.
  • Accessibility Standards Compliance – Adhering to established guidelines and standards to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
  • Accessibility in Urban Planning – Incorporating inclusive design principles in urban development to ensure accessibility for all citizens.
  • Accessible Communication – Ensuring that communication methods are inclusive and can be understood by people with diverse abilities, including those with hearing, visual, or cognitive impairments.
  • Accessible Information Technology – Designing and implementing technology solutions that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.
  • Accessibility Initiatives – Programs or projects aimed at enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities in public spaces, workplaces, and digital environments.
  • Accessibility Guidelines – Standards and recommendations to ensure services, products, and environments are accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Accessibility in Public Spaces – Designing public spaces and amenities to be usable by all people, regardless of their physical abilities.
  • Accommodation – Adjustments or modifications made to environments, systems, or practices to support individuals with differing needs.
  • Accommodation of Learning Styles – Adapting teaching methods to cater to different learning preferences, an important aspect of inclusive education.
  • Accommodation vs. Assimilation – Differentiating between making adjustments to include a diverse group (accommodation) and expecting a diverse group to conform to dominant norms (assimilation).
  • Acculturation – The process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures.
  • Actionable Diversity Goals – Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives set to improve diversity and inclusion.
  • Accountability in Diversity Initiatives – Holding individuals and organizations responsible for their actions and commitments related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Acknowledging Diversity Milestones – Recognising and celebrating significant achievements or events related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Acknowledgment of Historical Injustices – Recognising and addressing past wrongs and injustices that have impacted marginalised groups.
  • Acknowledgement of Intersectional Identities – Recognising and valuing the complex, overlapping aspects of people’s social identities (such as race, gender, sexuality, and class).
  • Acknowledgment of Land – Recognising the traditional indigenous inhabitants of the land, a practice important in respecting historical truths and indigenous cultures.
  • Acknowledging Privilege – Recognising and understanding the advantages that certain groups have due to systemic inequalities in society.
  • Acknowledging Unconscious Bias – Recognising that everyone has unconscious biases that can affect their perceptions and actions.
  • Activism – The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change, often integral in advancing DEI initiatives.
  • Adaptability – The ability to adjust to new conditions, a crucial skill in diverse and rapidly changing environments.
  • Adaptive Inclusivity – The ability of systems, policies, and practices to evolve and adapt in response to the changing needs of a diverse population.
  • Adaptive Decision-Making – The ability to make decisions that are responsive to the diverse needs and situations of different groups.
  • Adaptive Leadership in DEI – Leadership that responds flexibly and effectively to the challenges and opportunities presented by a diverse workforce and society.
  • Adaptive Learning Models – Educational models that adjust to the varying needs and abilities of diverse learners.
  • Adaptive Organisational Culture – A culture within an organisation that is flexible and responsive to the diverse needs of its members.
  • Adaptive Policy-Making – Creating policies that are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of a diverse society.
  • Advantage – A condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position, often discussed in the context of privilege and systemic inequalities.
  • Advancement of Inclusive Policies – The development and implementation of policies that promote inclusivity and equity in various sectors.
  • Advancement of Minorities – Efforts and policies aimed at promoting the progression and success of minority groups in various sectors.
  • Adversity Quotient – A measure of an individual’s ability to thrive in challenging circumstances, relevant in discussions about resilience in diverse populations.
  • Adverse Environment – An environment that is hostile or unwelcoming to certain groups, which can impede diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Advocacy – Active support or argument for a cause or policy, especially in the context of promoting DEI.
  • Advocacy for Accessibility – Actively supporting and promoting accessibility in various environments, crucial for inclusivity of individuals with disabilities.
  • Advocacy in Diversity – The act of supporting and promoting diversity in various spheres such as the workplace, education, and community settings.
  • Advocacy for Equal Rights – Actively supporting and promoting the equal rights of all individuals, regardless of their background or identity.
  • Advocacy for Inclusivity – Actively promoting and supporting inclusivity in various aspects of society, including workplaces, education, and policy.
  • Aesthetic Inclusivity – Including diverse artistic and cultural expressions in the arts and media.
  • Affective Commitment – The emotional attachment, identification, and involvement that an employee has with its organization, critical in understanding employee engagement in diverse workplaces.
  • Affective Inclusivity Training – Training that focuses on the emotional aspects of inclusion, such as empathy and emotional intelligence.
  • Affinity-Based Mentoring – Mentoring relationships based on shared identities or experiences, which can be particularly supportive for individuals in underrepresented groups.
  • Affinity Bias – The tendency to warm up to people like ourselves, a significant factor in discussions about unconscious bias and diversity in the workplace.
  • Affinity Bias Awareness – Recognising the tendency to favour individuals who share similar backgrounds, experiences, or characteristics with oneself.
  • Affinity Group Support – Providing support and resources to groups formed around shared identities or interests, often within larger organisations.
  • Affinity Networking – Networking within groups based on shared interests, backgrounds, or identities, often used in professional contexts to support underrepresented groups.
  • Affirmation of Identities – Validating and respecting the diverse identities of individuals, an essential practice in inclusive environments.
  • Affirmative Action – A policy favouring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education.
  • Affirmative Action Planning – Strategies and actions taken to increase representation and opportunities for historically underrepresented groups.
  • Affirmative Narrative Building – Creating and promoting narratives that positively affirm the identities and experiences of marginalised groups.
  • Age Diversity Awareness – Recognition of the value and importance of having a range of ages represented in various contexts, from the workplace to community initiatives.
  • Age-Inclusive Policies – Policies that take into account the needs and perspectives of people of all ages, avoiding age-based discrimination.
  • Aging Workforce Considerations – Acknowledging and addressing the specific needs and contributions of an aging workforce in DEI strategies.
  • Agender – Identifying as having no gender or being gender-neutral, a concept relevant in discussions about gender identity.
  • Agency in Diversity Initiatives – Empowering individuals, especially those from marginalised groups, to take active roles in shaping diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Agency in Representation – Empowering individuals, especially from marginalised groups, to have control over how they are represented and perceived.
  • Agency in Social Justice – The capacity and empowerment of individuals and groups to act towards achieving equitable social change.
  • Ageism – Prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.
  • Ageism Awareness – Recognising and addressing age-related prejudices and stereotypes, particularly in the workplace and media.
  • Age-Inclusive Design – Designing products, services, and environments that are suitable and accessible for people of all ages.
  • Age-Related Inclusion – Ensuring inclusivity across different age groups, addressing the unique needs and contributions of each age cohort.
  • Agency – The capacity of individuals to act independently and make their own free choices, an important concept in empowering diverse groups.
  • Agency and Advocacy – The capability and action of individuals or groups to represent and support themselves or others, particularly in marginalised communities.
  • Alignment of DEI Goals – Ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives are consistent with and integrated into the broader goals of an organisation.
  • Altruism – The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others, which can be a driving force in DEI efforts.
  • Allophilia – Having a positive attitude towards outgroup members, an important concept in fostering positive intergroup relations.
  • Ally – An individual who actively supports and stands up for the rights and dignity of groups other than their own, particularly in the context of social justice and DEI initiatives.
  • Ally Behaviour Training – Training aimed at teaching individuals how to effectively support and advocate for marginalised or underrepresented groups.
  • Ally Education – Educating individuals about how they can effectively support and advocate for marginalised groups.
  • Allyship – The practice of emphasising social justice, inclusion, and human rights by members of an advantaged group, to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalised group.
  • Allyship Accountability – The responsibility of allies to remain informed, active, and responsive in their support for marginalised groups.
  • Allyship in Action – Practical steps taken by individuals to support and advocate for marginalised groups.
  • Allyship Commitment – The ongoing dedication to understanding, empathising with, and actively supporting marginalised groups.
  • Allyship in Practice – The practical application of supporting and standing in solidarity with marginalised groups.
  • Alternative Narratives – Promoting stories and perspectives that challenge dominant cultural narratives, important for diversity in media and literature.
  • Ambient Belonging – The sense that an environment is welcoming and inclusive, often conveyed through subtle cues and atmosphere.
  • Ambiguity Tolerance – The ability to perceive ambiguous situations as desirable, important in DEI for managing diversity and complexity in organisational settings.
  • Ancestry – The familial lineage or ethnic background of an individual, often a factor in discussions of diversity and cultural identity.
  • Analytical Approaches to DEI – Using data-driven and analytical methods to understand and address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Anchoring Inclusion – Establishing inclusion as a fundamental and unmovable principle within an organisation or community.
  • Androgyny – The combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, relevant in discussions about gender identity and expression.
  • Anomie – A condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or from a lack of purpose or ideals, often discussed in the context of societal change and diversity.
  • Anti-Bias Curriculum – Educational content designed to counteract biases and stereotypes, fostering an inclusive learning environment.
  • Anti-discrimination – Actions or policies designed to eliminate discrimination against people based on race, sex, age, disability, etc., a fundamental aspect of DEI initiatives.
  • Anti-Discrimination Enforcement – The active implementation and reinforcement of policies that prevent discrimination in various settings.
  • Anti-Discriminatory Legislation – Laws and regulations designed to prevent and penalise discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, and disability.
  • Anti-Oppression Training – Training programs designed to help individuals and organisations understand and combat systemic oppression in society.
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice – A practice in social work and education that focuses on ending socioeconomic oppression.
  • Anti-Prejudice Education – Education aimed at reducing prejudices and promoting understanding among diverse groups.
  • Anti-Racism – The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.
  • Anti-Racism Strategies – Specific approaches and actions aimed at combating racism and promoting racial equity.
  • Anti-Racist Activism – Active involvement in movements and actions that seek to confront and eliminate racism.
  • Anti-Racist Policies – Policies explicitly designed to combat racism and promote racial equity within organisations and institutions.
  • Anti-Subordination Theory – A framework in legal theory and civil rights that focuses on addressing the conditions that perpetuate subordination based on race, gender, and other identities.
  • Apartheid – A policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race, relevant in discussions of historical and systemic inequalities.
  • Appreciation of Diversity in Thought – Valuing and encouraging diverse perspectives and ways of thinking in collaborative environments.
  • Appreciation of Multiculturalism – Valuing and embracing the diversity of cultures within a community or organisation.
  • Appreciative Diversity Training – Training that focuses on recognising and valuing the positive aspects of diversity in a team or organisation.
  • Appreciation of Individual Differences – Valuing the unique qualities and characteristics each person brings to a group or community.
  • Appropriation – Cultural appropriation, the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, often discussed in DEI in terms of power dynamics.
  • Artistic Representation Diversity – Ensuring diverse representation in the arts, including visual arts, literature, film, and music, to reflect a variety of perspectives and experiences.
  • Asexual – Having no sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in sexual activity, an important aspect of understanding sexual diversity.
  • Ascribed Status – A social position a person is given at birth or assumes involuntarily later in life, an important concept in understanding social stratification and its impact on diversity and equity.
  • Aspirational Role Modelling – Serving as a role model to inspire others, particularly from underrepresented groups, to aspire to greater achievements.
  • Aspirations for Inclusive Excellence – Striving to achieve the highest standards in inclusivity across all areas of an organisation or community.
  • Assessment for Inclusion – Evaluating policies, practices, and environments to ensure they are inclusive and meet the needs of diverse groups.
  • Asset-Based Community Development – An approach that focuses on the strengths and potentials of a community, including in diverse and marginalised groups.
  • Assimilation – The process by which a person or a group’s language and/or culture come to resemble those of another group.
  • Assimilation Critique – The evaluation and criticism of the process of assimilating minority groups into dominant cultures, often at the cost of losing cultural identities.
  • Assimilation Policy – A policy encouraging immigrants or minorities to adopt the dominant culture, often debated in the context of multiculturalism and diversity policies.
  • Assimilationist – A policy or practice that encourages minority cultures to dissolve and adopt the dominant culture.
  • Assumed Competence – The presumption that individuals, particularly those from marginalized groups, are competent and capable, counteracting stereotypes that suggest otherwise.
  • Assumption – A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof, often leading to biases and stereotypes in social contexts.
  • Assumptions About Culture – Preconceived notions or stereotypes about different cultures, which can hinder intercultural understanding and inclusion.
  • Asylum Seekers – People who have fled their home country and seek sanctuary in another, highlighting issues of global diversity and humanitarian response.
  • Asymmetrical Information Flow – The unequal access to information, which can affect marginalised groups disproportionately.
  • Asymmetrical Power Relations – Situations where power is distributed unequally among groups or individuals, a critical concept in understanding systemic inequities and social dynamics.
  • Atmosphere of Inclusivity – Creating an environment where all individuals feel valued, respected, and included.
  • Attribution Bias – The systematic errors made when people evaluate or try to find reasons for their own and others’ behaviours, often influencing perceptions in a diverse environment.
  • Attribution Error in Diversity – Misattributing behaviors or outcomes to a person’s group identity rather than to individual factors or situational contexts.
  • Atypical – Not representative of a type, group, or class, a term relevant in discussions about neurodiversity and challenging stereotypes.
  • Audience Diversification – Efforts to reach and include a diverse range of individuals in media, events, and communications.
  • Audience Inclusivity – Ensuring that diverse groups are considered and included in media, events, and communications.
  • Audism – The notion that life without hearing is futile and miserable, that hearing people are superior, or that deaf people should strive to be as much like hearing people as possible.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder – Difficulty in processing auditory information, a specific aspect of neurodiversity, important in creating inclusive environments for people with different learning and processing styles.
  • Authentic Consultation – Engaging with diverse groups in a genuine and respectful manner to inform decisions and policies.
  • Authentic Cultural Expressions – Encouraging and respecting genuine expressions of cultural identity in various forms, such as art, language, and traditions.
  • Authentic Identity – The genuine representation of one’s personal identity, significant in discussions about personal expression and diversity.
  • Authentic Inclusion Measures – Genuine and meaningful actions taken to ensure diverse groups are included and represented in all aspects of an organisation or community.
  • Authentic Intercultural Interactions – Genuine and respectful exchanges between individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Authentic Inclusion Efforts – Genuine and sincere efforts to include diverse groups, as opposed to superficial or tokenistic actions.
  • Authentic Diverse Narratives – True and genuine stories from diverse perspectives, challenging single-story narratives and stereotypes.
  • Authentic Leadership – A leadership style that emphasizes the authenticity of leaders and their relationships with followers, relevant in the context of ethical and inclusive leadership in organisations.
  • Authentic Voice – The genuine expression of individuals from diverse backgrounds, free from the pressure to conform to dominant norms.
  • Authenticity – The quality of being authentic or genuine, which can be crucial in creating an inclusive environment where people feel valued for their true selves.
  • Authenticity in DEI Conversations – Encouraging genuine and open discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion, without resorting to tokenism or superficial engagement.
  • Authenticity in Representation – Ensuring that diverse groups are represented in a manner that is true to their experiences and identities.
  • Autonomy – The right or condition of self-government, particularly in the context of empowering marginalised or minority groups within society or organisations.
  • Awareness – Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact, particularly relating to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Awareness of Intersectionality – Understanding how different aspects of a person’s identity (e.g., race, gender, class) intersect and create unique experiences of discrimination or privilege.
  • Awareness Training – Training programs designed to increase employees’ awareness of diversity and inclusion issues, aiming to foster a more inclusive workplace culture.
  • Aversion – A strong dislike or disinclination, often used in discussions of unconscious bias and aversive racism.
  • Axiology – The philosophical study of value, which includes considerations of ethics and aesthetics, relevant to understanding value systems in diverse cultures.

B

  • BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) – A term used in the UK to refer to Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people.
  • BAME Leadership Representation – The presence and visibility of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic individuals in leadership positions within organisations. 
  • Behavioural Inclusivity – The practices and actions that individuals and organisations undertake to ensure that all members feel valued, respected, and supported.
  • Belief Systems – The collective beliefs held by an individual or group.
  • Belief System Dynamics – The study of how individual and collective beliefs, values, and assumptions evolve and influence behaviour and interactions within diverse groups.
  • Belonging – The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group or place.
  • Benevolent Prejudice – A form of prejudice that appears positive or complimentary but is actually patronising and reinforces stereotypes and unequal power dynamics.
  • Benevolent Sexism – A form of sexism that is couched in terms that seem positive or affectionate but actually reinforce traditional gender roles and the notion of women’s dependency on men.
  • Bias – Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
  • Bias Correction – The process of identifying and adjusting for bias in decision-making processes, data analysis, and AI algorithms to ensure fairness and equity.
  • Bias Detection and Management – The process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating biases in organisational practices, decision-making, and interpersonal interactions.
  • Bias-Free Language – Language that avoids biases, stereotypes, or expressions that discriminate against groups of people based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics.
  • Bias Interrupters – Evidence-based organisational processes designed to identify and mitigate unconscious biases in the workplace.
  • Bias in Performance Evaluation – The influence of unconscious or conscious biases on the assessment of employees’ performance.
  • Bias Training – Training programs designed to help individuals recognise and mitigate their own unconscious biases.
  • Biased Systemic Structures – Institutional and structural mechanisms that perpetuate inequalities and biases, often unconsciously, through policies, practices, and cultural norms.
  • Bicultural Competence – The ability to effectively navigate and integrate two or more cultures, often developed by individuals who have been exposed to and have adapted to different cultural environments.
  • Bicultural Identity – The condition of identifying with two cultures simultaneously.
  • Biculturalism – The presence of two different cultures in the same country or region, or the ability of individuals to navigate and incorporate aspects of both their native and host cultures into their lives.
  • Binary Gender – The classification of gender into two distinct, opposite forms of masculine and feminine, whether by social system or cultural belief.
  • Binary Thinking – The tendency to think in extremes and categorise things in an either/or fashion, such as male/female, good/bad, or black/white.
  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) – A term used to acknowledge the unique struggles faced by Black and Indigenous people and other people of colour, particularly in contexts of racism, colonialism, and marginalisation.
  • Black Lives Matter – A decentralised movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people.
  • Blind Auditions – A practice originally used in orchestras where musicians perform behind a screen to conceal their identity, thus reducing bias in selection processes.
  • Board Diversity – Refers to the inclusion of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the governance bodies of organisations.
  • Body Diversity – Recognition and acceptance of the natural diversity in human body shapes, sizes, and abilities.
  • Bridging and Bonding Social Capital – Concepts that describe the value of social networks.
  • Bridging Social Capital – The development of connections and networks between individuals or groups who are dissimilar in terms of social identity, such as race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
  • Building Inclusive Cultures – The process of creating workplace environments that recognise, appreciate, and effectively utilise the talents, skills, and perspectives of every employee, regardless of their background or identity.
  • Bullying – Repeated, unwanted harmful behaviour towards an individual or group, often manifesting as physical, verbal, or social harm.
  • Bystander Apathy – A social psychological phenomenon where individuals are less likely to help a victim when other people are present, often due to the diffusion of responsibility.
  • Bystander Intervention – The act of stepping in to assist someone who is in a situation where they are being discriminated against or harassed.

C

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