Difference Between Diversity And Inclusion

Many businesses brag about how diverse their workforce is. However, just because a workforce is diverse does not automatically imply that the workplace is inclusive. These terms are commonly interchanged and misunderstood. Although the two concepts are sometimes used interchangeably since a truly supportive workplace necessitates both, there is a significant distinction between diversity and inclusion.

Making the distinction between the two is crucial for creating a safe, welcoming, and well-rounded workplace. Simply put, diversity is concerned with the ‘what’ or the composition of your workforce. Inclusion, on the other hand, is the ‘how’ or the building of a work environment and culture that allows all employees to engage and thrive.

To further illustrate the difference between diversity and inclusion, consider diversity as a universally acknowledged notion that brings people from various walks of life together in one place. On the other side, inclusion adds specific tactics and strategies for making diversity work.

Let’s understand the two concepts in-depth to be able to distinguish between them in a better manner.

Diversity vs. Inclusion

Before you can comprehend inclusivity, you must first grasp the concept of diversity. To put it another way, you have to start with diversity in order to be inclusive in the first place.


Diversity is a term used to describe everyone’s distinct qualities and characteristics as they come together to make one full person the “what” of holistic integration. People of many colors, ethnicities, nations, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, ages, and more are found in a diverse workplace.

  • Four Types of Diversity

There are various sorts of diversity, but it’s usually split down into four categories, each with its own set of traits when it comes to understanding it in the workplace.

Here’s a quick rundown of the four different forms of diversity:

  1. Internal – These are traits that a person is born with and cannot change, such as race, ethnicity, birth sex, gender identity, physical ability, and mental capacity.
  1. External – External factors are characteristics that a person is not born with and can change, although being significantly influenced by the people around them. Personal interests, education, attractiveness, citizenship, familial status, relationship status, social status, and religious convictions are all examples of personal characteristics.
  1. Organizational – These are the characteristics that identify persons in the workplace, such as job function, management status, department, seniority, and compensation.
  1. Worldview – Another variable that can shift over time is worldview variety, which refers to how we choose to view the world and the metaphorical lens through which we interpret our experiences. Political affinity and a natural moral compass are two examples.

A diverse workplace on its own doesn’t accomplish much more than filling a quota; it’s only when these many views and perspectives are actually heard that a business reaps the benefits of inclusivity.


Inclusion is how variety grows and comes to life—when people from various walks of life, varied backgrounds, and personal interests join together in a community and listen to and respect one another.

The ability to create a safe space is the most important characteristic of an inclusive workplace. As a result, varied personnel may be themselves without fear of being judged, and they won’t have to hide aspects of themselves or compromise their values to feel accepted.

  • How to Make Your Workplace More Inclusive? 

Here are some ideas for making your workplace more inclusive of different employees:

  • Create strict anti-discrimination policies
  • Regularly require sensitivity/unconscious bias training
  • Every level of the workforce should be diverse
  • Consider translating activities for deaf or multilingual persons to take a nondenominational approach to the holiday season
  • Provide a diverse menu of dishes that correspond to many religions
  • Investigate onsite or emergency daycare options
  • Ensure that enough healthcare and parental leave are available
  • Encourage staff mentoring and consider providing educational opportunities
  • Take inquiries and concerns carefully and listen to them
  • The Advantages of Having an Inclusive Workplace

There is a significant distinction between diversity and inclusion, which is especially noticeable in the workplace. You not only make people want to come to work every day by creating a company that is both diverse and inclusive, but you also put your firm up for better success in every sense of the word.

Here are some of the advantages of working in a diverse and inclusive environment:

  • Creativity– Broad views provide different points of view and a creative approach to problem-solving.
  • Good Reputation- Supporting equal opportunity builds a positive reputation for your organization among possible business partners, consumers, and clients.
  • Higher Likelihood of Investment – According to studies published in the Harvard Business Review, venture capitalists are far more inclined to invest in a company if they can form a relationship with someone of their own gender, race, or ethnicity.
  • Demand for employment -Employee happiness leads to a decreased job turnover rate, which not only saves you money but also develops a demand for employment with your company. When potential candidates learn about this, they’ll be more interested in working for your organization, resulting in a huge, highly qualified applicant pool when it’s time to fill a position.
  • Increased profits – According to various studies highlighted by Business Insider, more racial, ethnic, and gender diversity has a direct influence on earnings and leads to companies outperforming their competitors.

Why is both Diversity and Inclusion Important?

A diversified workplace with an inclusive culture and leadership is more likely to achieve organizational success than a team that is less varied or inclusive.

Diversity and inclusion are mutually beneficial and dependent on one another. Inclusion is the deliberate effort made by organizations to support diversity and take it beyond the hype. Diversity and inclusion are two distinct concepts, but they are both critical in today’s workplace. And the journey toward a more inclusive culture is never complete. Everyone can contribute to learning, growing, and recognizing the workforce’s diversity. 

Employees like to work for diverse and inclusive firms. Focusing on these issues can be extremely beneficial to your company. Diverse and inclusive teams are more productive and innovative, are better at resolving conflict, and reflect a larger group of people with different perspectives.

Diversity and inclusion should be top priorities for your company now more than ever. It begins at the top, with leaders who see the distinction between diversity and inclusion and work to make both a reality.

Consider the consequences of including diversity and inclusion in your corporate value statement, mission statement, and policy. You can make a difference in that sales meeting, or in that strategic alliance; you might discover that people draw toward you because you’ve made this a key value.

How to Achieve a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace?

Training your hiring managers to spot and avoid bias during the hiring process can help you adopt diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Employees can get diversity and inclusion training, and companies can aid by honoring all religious and cultural holidays, mixing teams, and providing easy access to employee resource groups.

Recruiters have begun to combat bias and strive for heterogeneity while hiring people, having recognized the benefits of diversity. The next step for managers is to use inclusion methods once they have established diversity in their organization. To bring diversity’s benefits to light, team members must feel psychologically comfortable and involved.

If you want to gain awareness about diversity and inclusion and the difference between them, Impactly can help you with it. It offers large and medium businesses state-compliant sexual harassment prevention training as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training.

Related Content


Impactly’s online sexual harassment and diversity, equity & inclusion training packages are used by hundreds of organizations across the country. Impactly is powered by Get Inclusive, one of the largest providers of prevention and compliance training for colleges and universities.