Diversity Dictionary

The dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion is broad and growing daily. This introduces the need for a common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Because of differences in lived experience, words often hold different meanings for different people. This glossary is not meant to be exhaustive, since language is continuously evolving. The main goal is to provide a basic framework and promote dialogue.

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There are currently 11 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter D.
D

D & I Program
all of the tactical approaches used to carry out the strategy, and the resources made available to employees at every level. This might include formal D&I councils and committees, employee affinity groups, resource guides, mentoring/sponsorship programs, company-sponsored events, or any other creative D&I effort outside of training.

D & I Strategy
an overall plan or approach a company may take to ensure diversity and inclusion is built into its business model. This includes staffing, operations, and its infrastructure.

Data Disaggregation
data that has been broken down by detailed sub-categories, for example by gender, race and/or ethnicity, region, or level of education. Disaggregated data can reveal resource limitations and inequalities that may not be fully reflected in aggregated data.

Deadname
the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning.

Decolonize
the active and intentional process of unlearning values, beliefs, and conceptions that have caused physical, emotional, or mental harm to people through colonization. This requires a recognition of systems of oppression.

Disability
a physical or mental impairment that affects a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Disclosure
the sharing of disability status with an employer, frequently driven by the need to request a reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Discrimination
the unequal treatment of members of various groups, based on conscious or unconscious prejudice, which favors one group over others on differences of race, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, language, age, national identity, religion, and other categories.

Disproportionality
over or underrepresentation of a particular group or race in a public system compared to their representation in the general population. Disproportionality is often used in the education and criminal justice sectors and is similar in meaning to the use of “disparity” in the health sector.

Diversity
We recognize diversity as all individual characteristics that define us, going beyond demographic descriptors. Diversity is the intersection of our individual backgrounds and experiences, and the unique perspectives that we each have as a result. Almost all forms of identity that distinguish us from one another contribute to cognitive diversity. Embracing cognitive diversity – differences in thought patterns, information processing, and problem-solving – primes organizations for more innovative thinking, and, therefore, growth.

Diversity Journey Spectrum
a Diversity Crew term used to assist both organizations and individuals in evaluating their relationship to diversity. We call it a spectrum or a journey because we understand that no one is at 0 — knowing nothing about diversity, equity, and inclusion — and no one is at 10 — knowing everything and operating from a perfectly diverse and inclusive mindset. All of us are somewhere in between. Diversity Crew meets you where you are, from both an individual and an organizational perspective, and we go along on that journey with you.