Adversity Quotient - Definition and Explanation

Adversity Quotient – Definition and Explanation

Understanding Adversity Quotient: Key to Resilience in DEI

Within the sphere of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), individuals often confront a myriad of challenges. Adversity Quotient (AQ) stands as a vital concept, shedding light on one’s ability to navigate adversity and emerge stronger. 


Adversity Quotient, commonly abbreviated as AQ, refers to an individual’s resilience and capacity to handle setbacks, challenges, and adversities effectively. It measures one’s ability to persevere and bounce back from difficult situations, demonstrating adaptability, tenacity, and emotional intelligence.

Significance in DEI:

In the context of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, AQ plays a pivotal role. Individuals from marginalised or underrepresented groups often encounter systemic barriers, discrimination, and biases. A high Adversity Quotient empowers them to confront and overcome these obstacles, contributing to a more inclusive environment.

Components of Adversity Quotient:

  1. Control: The extent to which an individual believes they have control over their circumstances.
  2. Ownership: Taking responsibility for one’s actions and outcomes, regardless of external factors.
  3. Reach: The ability to seek support and resources when facing adversity.
  4. Endurance: Persistence and resilience in the face of challenges, maintaining motivation and optimism.


Imagine a woman of colour in a predominantly male-dominated industry. Despite facing gender and racial biases, she exhibits a high Adversity Quotient. She takes control of her career by seeking mentorship, networking, and honing her skills. Despite setbacks, she remains resilient, persevering through obstacles, and eventually achieves success.


Adversity Quotient is a crucial concept in fostering resilience and navigating challenges in DEI initiatives. By understanding and developing AQ, individuals can effectively confront adversity, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society. Embracing diversity, promoting equity, and fostering inclusion are integral to building a workforce and society that thrives on resilience and adaptability.


Phoolka, E. S., & Kaur, N. (2012). Adversity Quotient: A new paradigm to explore. Contemporary Business Studies3(4), 67-78.

Juwita, H. R., & Usodo, B. (2020). The Role of Adversity Quotient in the Field of Education: A Review of the Literature on Educational Development. International Journal of Educational Methodology6(3), 507-515.

Parvathy, U., & Praseeda, M. (2014). Relationship between adversity quotient and academic problems among student teachers. Journal of Humanities and Social Science19(11), 23-26.

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