Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

By Jackie Handy, the PSA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is becoming a talked about necessity for business owners and consultants. A number of significant (and widely reported) events over the last two years have re-ignited the fire in many marginalised groups to say “enough”.

The world is changing.

And when the world changes, the speaking community must take notice. Undoubtedly our work will be impacted and clients will want us to demonstrate our commitment to DEI in order to become (or remain) a trusted partner.

Recognising the need for focus, the PSA created a Board role to place attention on DEI for our community. Earlier this year I became the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director and write this to share some brief thoughts on how you can start your journey.

Understanding is the first step.

So, what is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

While there are many definitions, here’s how I describe the terms:

Diversity = difference. Diversity is a plural descriptor so one person isn’t diverse, but a group or community can be.

Equity = Equality has to do with giving everyone the exact same resources, whereas equity involves distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients. I give this example as the terms are often used interchangeably but remain subtly different.

Inclusion = the felt senseof feeling safe, valued and understood. A person can be told they are included but must be able to feel it for true inclusion to exist. Inclusion requires a proactive approach from individuals and organisations, so that an environment can be created where everyone feels they have a place.

And D + E + I = Belonging.

DEI work is broad and takes time. It would be impossible to provide all the facts in a single blog post. Today I’ll focus on one simple area of DEI for you.

The component parts of identity, your values and beliefs and the life experience you all have shape your reality (or as I call it, your map of the world.) The way your identity and experiences overlap in this way is known as intersectionality.  

Audio Recording of Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Listen to Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, by Jackie Handy.