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Let’s talk EDI – what’s in an acronym?

At Liquid Friday we are committed to leading the charge for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and being a vanguard for EDI in the temporary labour supply chain.  In fact, the EDI acronym is often switched round to DEI depending on the organisation. But whatever the order of the letters, the values are the important thing. Having settled on EDI as a term, we don’t want it to be just another arbitrary buzzword that just gets bandied about the office for a while. We aspire to fully embed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in our company culture and to actively promote it to others. But the best place to start the EDI conversation is with some definitions. 

E is for…. equity Vs equality

We’ve had much debate about this internally! If you look up equity and equality in the dictionary you could well come away thinking they mean the same thing. But they aren’t interchangeable. 

Equality = sameness

Equality promotes equal opportunity by giving everyone exactly the same resources. But, this can only work if everyone is starting from the same place. In the below example, equality only works if everyone is the same height.

Equity = fairness

Equity is about ensuring people get access to the same opportunities by distributing resources based on the needs of the individual. It recognises that everyone has different circumstances and that certain groups of people have experienced discrimination and barriers. Take the below example. On the left, 3 boxes are given to 3 people of different heights. This is an equal distribution of resources but doesn’t consider that the shortest person needs an extra box to see over the fence, while the tallest person doesn’t need a box. When the boxes are given out equitably, as on the right, all three people can see over the fence! This leads us to the conclusion that we must ensure equity before we can experience equality. Equality Vs Equity

D is for diversity

Diversity is recognising that everyone is unique and respecting differences in background, knowledge, skills, needs and experiences. A diverse environment is one with a wide range of backgrounds and mindsets which celebrates differences to create a cohesive community and an empowered, effective workforce. 

I is for…inclusion

The definition of inclusion in the workplace is when people feel valued and that they belong in the organisation, without having to conform. Inclusive businesses support all employees to thrive at work; the end goal of inclusion is where everyone feels welcome, accepted and respected.

EDI synergy

Having explored the above definitions, it is especially important to highlight that a synergy of all three elements of EDI are required for everyone to flourish in the working environment.  A diverse workforce needs equity to ensure all groups the same opportunities to thrive,and inclusion so that everyone feels that they belong so they can be their true selves and fulfil their own goals and potential.

Leading the conversation on EDI

Defining what EDI stands for is just the start of the conversation. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be talking about various aspects of EDI and sharing our journey towards a fully equitable, diverse and inclusive culture. Get involved in the conversation by following our social pages - links are below.

Further reading

Pride Month: Building a culture of inclusion in recruitment