Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Diversity vs Inclusion – Do you Know The Difference ?

The best explanation I found is from: and I have included an excerpt from the lesson written by Beth Hendricks.

Diversity vs Inclusion

As the owner of a large business in his hometown, Ted has worked doubly hard to build a diverse workforce that represents people from all walks of life. Employees of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages and religion make up his 100-person team because he knows that diversity means good things for customer satisfaction, decision making, reaching goals, and growing his business.

The only problem is, Ted’s business isn’t inclusive. What? How’s that? How can a business be diverse, but not inclusive? Let’s take a closer look.

What Does Inclusion Mean?

There’s a lot of chatter today about diversity in the workforce, and that’s a good thing. Diversity, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), means ”the collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes, for example, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviors.”

So, Ted’s workforce that includes women, different races, a mixture of older and younger employees, and people with different levels of education or skill sets is a good example of diversity at work. It means that Ted’s workplace environment should boast diverse perspectives, thoughts, and ideas that help the business succeed.

Except, that’s not what’s really happening.

Even though Ted is embracing the idea of diversity, he’s failing at inclusion. Inclusion, the SHRM says, is ”the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.”

Inclusion means that a diverse pool of employees are respected and valued, allowing them to reach their full potential while contributing to the success of the business as a whole. So, if diversity is represented as various puzzle pieces, inclusion represents what the puzzle looks like when everything is pieced together. In short, you can work in a diverse environment without working in an inclusive one.

Importance of Inclusion

Becoming an inclusive workplace is important for a number of reasons.

First, inclusion plugs the talent gap. With entire generations retiring from the workforce, it’s critical that businesses find qualified and talented people to pick up the torch and help grow a business.

Second, inclusion improves the decision-making process. Imagine having a room full of people with the same backgrounds, experiences, and ideas. There would be no one there to present a contrary viewpoint or draw from different life experiences to challenge people to think of things in a new way. People of different backgrounds help innovate and create solutions to problems. Working with people of varying backgrounds gives everyone an opportunity to learn and grow.

That was an excellent example of the difference between Diversity and Inclusion. Unfortunately I could not glean any additional information because you have to be a teacher or student to have complete access to that site. I included all of the above information because it was the best description I found and made the differences clear and easy to understand.

Diversity and Inclusion apply not only to our work environment but to every aspect of our life. Our understanding of both should start very early in our life.

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. Maya Angelou

Our attitude will be determined by many factors. The attitude of our parents and other family members, our teachers, our faith and the stranger on the street. When we embrace diversity and we also show them how how to be inclusive, particularly by our own example, we give our children a gift, a gift of beauty and of love.

So how do we teach our children about diversity and inclusion. When I was a young child we lived in a small village and there was no diversity, not any. So I did not have any examples to learn from. It was a white, white world. All my friends, all my parents friends, the entire school and community were white. Diversity and inclusion were not taught in school or even in our church.

I am showing my age because I find it difficult to imagine there are many places left like that. Then, of course, there is television, the internet, movies, and all sorts of exposure now that I did not have when I was growing up. I do not remember how old I was when we had our first TV; probably about 10 years old and the programming was limited, to say the least. No exposure to diversity or inclusion was found there.

Considering everything I was lucky growing up because I may not have learned about diversity and inclusion but I also did not have any exposure to racism and bigotry. I was almost like a clean slate.

When I grew up and moved out of my parents home I started to experience diversity. I started to see and interact with other races, other religions. I started to witness other peoples reactions to each other. I began to see hints of racism but I did not truly understand the reasoning. There was never an instance where I thought negatively toward someone because of how they looked, what their religion was, or their race.

Looking back I think I was more curious than anything else. That is why, in some ways, I think children growing up now are luckier then me because so many grow up in neighborhoods with many cultures and races. They have the opportunity to go to school and church and form relationships, make friends with other children that are different from them in the way they look or talk. Children are accepting and that is a perfect time to learn about diversity and hopefully inclusion

This is the ideal time when parents, their teachers, their churches should be teaching all children about diversity and also inclusion. Talk to them and show them by your example. It does not take long for a child of any age to realize you are not practicing what you are teaching. What they learn as a child will be the foundation of how they will continue in life.

Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity. Roger Ebert

I consider myself lucky that there was no exposure to racism or hatred or fear of anyone that was different from me when I was a child. I was lucky that my parents, or my community did not expose me to, or teach me to be anything, but that blank slate. I have made my own choices, my own decisions, and luckily I made the right ones.

So how do we teach our children ?

First, of course, would by giving them the opportunity to play with a diverse group of friends. Also, as I mentioned above, by example. Interact with diverse families and make friends, invite them into your home and do so sincerely and with an open heart.

Today, more so then ever, there are so many books that you can read to, and with, your children, about different cultures. Take them to the library and bring home a variety of books. Better yet, buy one or two of those books that they really seemed to enjoy and they can read them over and over. A great place to buy books inexpensively is at a Library Sale. The prices are highly discounted and sometimes they will have “bag” sales where you can fill a bag for a very low price. Check out your local library.

Bring home a cookbook and use that as a way to explain about a particular culture while you are making a meal that someone from that culture would make. Continue the discussion when you sit down to eat and talk about the different foods and how they are part of the culture of a different country. Do they use different utensils, do they pray before they eat or do they bless their food. Do they wear different clothes? What music do they listen to ?

If you can afford to travel then planning a trip to a different country would be wonderful. There are also different cultural events in many cities and communities which you could go to where you may see people dressed in their native dress, there will be different music and some people will be talking in their native language.

When a child is young is a wonderful time to expose them to learning other languages. They will learn much more quickly and easily then we might as an adult. Do it with them. what a great learning and bonding experience for you both.

We are living in a constantly changing world and it is more and more important to have understanding and empathy toward every person. What happens when someone who has had minimal exposure to diversity goes to college or enters the workplace ? How do you teach Diversity and Inclusion to an adult ?

That I think is much harder to do because by that time in our lives we may have already established some pretty solid beliefs and values. We may not be as open to change. If we have the same values as our family or friends we might worry about the impact of being different then they are, or of disappointing them. How will we be judged by our peers ?

Most colleges, but not all, are multicultural or diverse. A college who accepts and recognizes, celebrates those differences would be considered inclusive. A college will generally have representation from most ethnic groups both from within the US and students from other countries that are going to college here. There will be male and female students and professors, there will be disabled people, people with different sexual orientation, well to do students and low income students.

Sort of like a melting pot of humanity. I think it sounds wonderful and I wish that I could have participated in such an environment when I was young. Truly, I do believe that someone becomes a better, more interesting person, for having exposure and interacting with a large diverse community.

Multicultural Student Advisory Board – Calvin College

Colleges will have many programs, or groups, in place for students to participate in. There will usually be organizations represented within the college such as, The Black Student Alliance, LGBTQ, International Students, Disabled and Veterans groups. All these groups, and many more, participate in, and encourage, diversity and inclusion throughout college life.

Colleges, just like organizations, have to have top down participation. It starts at the very top with the President of the college and should include all those in leadership positions. It is a complex issue, an important one, and I think it would require a strong comprehensive, structured plan, or Mission Statement, to be put in place and to be implemented. It would require a dedicated group of people.

In the business world it is becoming more and more important to establish a diverse workforce and to also be inclusive. Diversity will not work well if there is no inclusiveness. Many companies hire a diverse workforce but then do not take the next step and develop them as a cohesive unit where they all work together, are all given the same opportunities and the same recognition.

Diversity without inclusion is like an energizer bunny without a battery.

I found a well written article from Officevibe and written by Alison Robins, titled “5-Game Changing Diversity and Inclusions Activities for Teams”. I thought it was an excellent example for training. You can read it here:

Virtually everyone in an organization of any type, be it a business, a religious group or a college is responsible for the building of diversity and inclusion. Starting from the top; the owner, the CEO, the Pope, the President of a college is responsible. They need to accept that it necessary, that it is important and then lead by example.

Build a comprehensive plan and implement it. Train the leaders of the company and make sure they follow through. Then keep moving down the ladder so that the plan is implemented throughout the entire organization. If diversity is added in such a way that it is also inclusive there will be a positive change that will show in contentment of your employees and therefore their productivity.

“Research also shows that teams that operate in an inclusive culture outperform their peers by a staggering 80 percent.”

Inclusiveness is important because it should allow all employees, irregardless of their sex, age, race, religion, or disability to come to work without apprehension or fear.. There should be an atmosphere of understanding and trust. Workers will excel and be more creative and they will not want to leave. If your organization has a diverse workforce without inclusion employees will eventually leave and move on to an organization that will include and recognize their worth. .

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Are you ready to Dance ?

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful Inclusive day !


Moving Forward.....that is what this blog is about and adjusting my Time Frame. We all have a time frame although we may acknowledge, or look at our life that way, but life is our own personal time frame. I am in my early 70's and I plan on living for many more years and accomplish many things. This blog is the beginning of that process. It is my way of pushing myself along that path. So where do I go from here? Follow along and maybe what I do will help you to Move Forward as well. Also, join me on my journey at

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