What is diversity, equity and inclusion?

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, January 27, 2017

The D5 coalition formed specifically to deepen philanthropy’s efforts in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. We have been using D5’s resources and definitions to ground our racial equity work. D5’s “What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” resource provides context and definitions to help grantmakers figure out where to begin their own journey to bring a racial equity lens to their work. They have defined DEI as the following:

  • Diversity
    • The demographic mix of a specific collection of people, taking into account elements of human difference, but focusing particularly on racial and ethnic groups, LGBT populations, people with disabilities and women
    • A diverse workplace is not necessarily an equitable workplace. Nor does the presence of people who are diverse necessarily produce decision-making that optimizes results for the groups their diversity reflects. A foundation that focuses only on diversity cannot presume that it has equity as a goal.
  • Inclusion
    • The degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision making processes within an organization or group. While a truly “inclusive” group is necessarily diverse, a “diverse” group may or may not be “inclusive.”
  • Equity
    • Equity refers to the impact of philanthropic investment and action wherein outcomes are not correlated with race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, or ability. Levels and/or types of investments in and of themselves do not produce equity. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

      Want to learn more?

      D5’s full tool, What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? provides tons of additional context. D5 has also produced a full report covering the policies, practices and programs that advance DEI — you can find it here.