Diversity Terms: Understanding The Vocabulary Of Equality

Diversity terms are those words signifying a marginalized community or individual. Diversity includes every person regardless of their differences, and diversity terms are made to recognize and authenticate those differences. There is a whole glossary of diversity terms that you need to know and be aware of their true usage. In this article, we will discuss the various diversity terms and the importance of using them. 

What is Diversity?

Diversity refers to individual or group/social differences. These differences may include physical and mental abilities, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural traditions, nationality, religion, age, class, and multiple other factors. These differences are very natural to have in a diverse group of people. But it only becomes a diverse group if the people in it, despite their differences, accept each other and adjust their needs to suit everyone. 

A Glossary of Diversity Terms

Here are some of the most used diversity terms. 

  • Accomplice(s)

An accomplice is a person who challenges the racism, white supremacy, and hatred towards indigenous communities inherent to society by blocking and impeding policies that promote this unhealthy discriminatory propaganda. 

  • Adult-ism

Adult-ism means to discard the opinions of young people based on their lack of experience. This is also a noun describing an action. Workplaces can and do suffer from adultism. 

  • A-gender

Not identifying with any gender or the feeling of not having any gender. This is different from gender fluidity. This is an adjective used to describe people who belong in this category. 

  • Ally

An ally is an advocate for a community that has been marginalized for a long time. An ally is a noun, but they do not belong to the community strictly because they don’t have the psychological or social differences that can make them a part of the marginalized community. This is similar to accomplice but in a larger spectrum. 

  • Bigotry

An unreasonable attachment to an irritable and negative approach towards people that belong in a different category or community or gender. 

  • Bi-sexual

People who have a romantic and sexual affiliation to both the traditional sexes. A person who identifies as a bi-sexual usually experiences sexual attraction towards both male and female-identified bodies. But it can also be female and non-binary bodies. This is an adjective.

  • Bi-racial

A person whose parents belong to different races, and they carry the idiosyncrasies and appearances of both the races. This is also an adjective. 

  • BIPOC 

This is the literal abbreviation for Black, indigenous, and people of color. This noun is commonly used to refer to people who are not strictly white. 

  • Cisgender

Cisgender is an adjective assigned to people who assume their gender at birth. It is often abbreviated to cis. 

  • Class-ism

Class-ism usually occurs when there is a huge socioeconomic difference between two sections of society. The upper-class people often assume that they are superior to the lower-class people by virtue of money, and society assumes that as well. This generates discrimination. This is called class-ism, and it is a noun. 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

This means going beyond the material benefits or profits of an organization and being a good corporate citizen by striving to positively impact society or a community with your work. This is a noun. 

  • Critical Race Theory

The usual teaching modules containing theories about racism and gender studies were built by a set of people who did not understand rather did not want to understand the perspective of the people they were writing about. Critical race theory is about challenging the existing theories about race. 

  • Cultural Appropriation

When one culture steals another culture’s rituals, symbols, ways of life and molds it to their convenience. Usually, cultural appropriation is done by the majority’s culture upon the minority’s culture. It is a form of discrimination. The minority can be inferior in social, military, economic, or political positions. 

This appropriation is often done by the majority without understanding the importance of these cultural apparatus or their meaning to the minority. After these cultural apparatuses are stolen, it is used in meaningless or disrespectful pop culture.

  • Drag King/Queen

Drag kings or Queens are usually men or women who dress up as the opposite gender for performative or entertainment purposes. It is often and usually flamboyant, boisterous, and outrageous. This can also be a little stereotypical at times.

  • Emotional Tax

Sometimes the lack of acceptance in terms of diversity in the workplace–like negative comments about someone’s hair color or skin or age or ethnicity, and race can greatly affect the overall productivity and the personal life of that person. The liability of this effect will be on the company for not ensuring the toll that person’s mental health takes. This negative effect is called emotional tax. This is a noun. 

  • Euro-Centric 

The inclination to consider European culture as normative. The term is not meant to apply superiority. Eurocentrism is a way of life that discards other ways for European ways–this can be seen as a favoring of the majority. A Eurocentric point of view can infiltrate a workplace, education, and multiple other fields.

  • Equality

Treating everyone equally. This equality often assumes that everyone starts on an equal footing. This is a noun.

  • Equity

This is also a noun. Unlike equality, this means thriving towards giving everyone the same opportunities but giving marginalized communities extra benefits to give them a fighting chance against the more privileged. 

  • Feminism

Feminism is the spread of awareness about women’s rights and the fight for equal rights for every gender.

  • First Nation People

People who claim they were the first inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere continent. Also identified as Native Americans.  

  • Intersectionality

The intertwining of different social identities in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, religion, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity can result in unique experiences, opportunities, and barricades. This is a noun. 

  • Neurodiversity

Human brains are wired in unique ways. Neurodiversity propagates the concept that we should treat neurological differences with as much value as we treat the clear differences in human beings. 

  • Non-binaries (also known as gender queer)

This is an adjective assigned to people who believe and recognize themselves as belonging to a fluid constellation of gender and not conforming to society’s idea of gender. 

  • Unconscious Bias

Pre-existing conventions about a group of people or individuals who act or belong in certain communities and reflect that biased point of view in professional settings. This is a noun. 

  • Work-Life Effectiveness

It is the work of a task manager to maintain the work-life balance and do their office work effectively so that they have time for their personal lives and the office does not infiltrate it. 

  • Workplace Inclusion

An atmosphere where all employees belong, contribute and thrive in their own ways. This requires deliberate and intentional action. This is a noun. 

  • Xenophobia

The hatred of the ‘other’. The ‘other’ here signifies people who look, speak or have politics different from themselves. 

Final Thoughts

Words and how we use them to have a very important role in building a safe and productive environment. Understanding diversity terms and using them will make your peers and the surrounding people comfortable about their identity and make them prone to be in a healthier mindset in any professional or private environment. 

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