DEI: Keep It Simple  


The term Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) may be common knowledge, but it’s not commonly understood. Relating it to a real-life situation always helps to clarify what something means.  

  • You want everyone invited to your party. That’s diversity
  • Let everyone at your party contribute to the playlist. That’s inclusion
  • Everyone should have the same opportunity to dance. That’s equity

DEI is easier to talk about and write about than to achieve. For some reason, we have the inability to understand and tolerate those that are different from ourselves. As humans, if we cannot resolve the presence of differences and inequities, we can expect the workplace to struggle in the process as well.  

  • Think about showing up at a place and questioning whether you belong. The bottom line is some people regularly find themselves in this position. 

Does the order of letters really matter?  

Workplaces have gotten better with strategic planning for Diversity, but what about Equity and Inclusion? We talk about it as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, but we should really think of it as Equity, Inclusion, and then Diversity. If you don’t have a culture of equity and inclusion, the diversity piece will never improve in any sustainable manner because no one will want that type of work environment, and retention will suffer. Instead, we should work to build an inclusive culture by keeping it REAL and always LEADing the way: 

Let’s all keep it REAL:  

R – Reveal relevant opportunities   

E – Elevate equity  

A – Activate diversity 

L – Lead inclusivity


Always LEAD:

L – Learn

E – Empathize  

A – Be an Ally  

D – Develop a plan  

Each of us can make a difference when it comes to diversity, equity & inclusion. Making others feel a sense of belonging no matter their ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender identity, or any other factors that can play into unconscious bias. 

Learn more about how you can contribute to creating an even playing field, inclusive environment, and make a positive impact in the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: