Aversion - Definition and Explanation

Aversion – Definition and Explanation

Understanding Aversion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Definition and Examples

Within the realm of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the concept of “aversion” plays a significant role. A thorough comprehension of aversion is essential for cultivating inclusive environments and combatting biases. 


Aversion refers to a strong dislike or disinclination towards something or someone. In the context of DEI, aversion often manifests as an unconscious bias against individuals or groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic status. This bias can influence decision-making processes, perpetuate inequalities, and hinder diversity efforts within organisations.

Relevance in DEI Initiatives:

Addressing aversion is paramount in DEI initiatives as it directly impedes efforts to create inclusive environments. Aversion can lead to discriminatory behaviours, microaggressions, and exclusionary practices, thereby perpetuating systemic inequalities. By acknowledging and mitigating aversion, organisations can foster a culture of acceptance, respect, and equality for all individuals.


  1. Gender Aversion in Hiring: In a corporate setting, a hiring manager may exhibit aversion towards female candidates based on unfounded beliefs about their competency or commitment due to family obligations. This aversion can result in the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, perpetuating gender disparities within the organisation.
  2. Racial Aversion in Networking: During networking events, individuals may unintentionally exhibit aversion towards people of different racial backgrounds, gravitating towards individuals who share similar ethnicities or cultural backgrounds. This aversion can hinder opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration and perpetuate racial divides within professional circles.
  3. Socio-economic Aversion in Education: In educational institutions, teachers or administrators may harbour aversion towards students from low-income backgrounds, subconsciously believing in stereotypes about their academic abilities or work ethic. This aversion can result in unequal treatment, limited access to resources, and hindered academic success for marginalised students.


In the pursuit of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, addressing aversion is paramount. By raising awareness, implementing training programmes, and promoting inclusive practices, organisations can mitigate the impact of aversion and create environments where all individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their fullest potential. Together, let us strive to combat aversion and build a more equitable and inclusive society.

Be impressively well informed

Get the very latest research intelligence briefings, video research briefings, infographics and more sent direct to you as they are published

Be the most impressively well-informed and up-to-date person around...

Powered by ConvertKit
Like what you see? Help us spread the word