When discussing “D&I”, we often forget to define what we’re actually talking about. To come to a mutual agreement on the language and concepts around diversity and inclusion, we compiled a glossary of terms. Some of these pop up in our surveys, articles or presentations. Others help us in opening up the conversation, among ourselves or with the people around us. If you feel like there’s something missing, incomplete or incorrect – please let us know.
Dominant attitudes in society that assume there is an ideal body and mind, leading to discriminatory behaviours toward people who differ from this norm.
The practice of designing or developing environments (either digitally or physically) that provide great experiences for all users – including those who differ from the assumed ideal body and mind norm.
A system of beliefs and actions that stereotype and discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.
People who support a social group other than their own, by acknowledging disadvantage and oppression, taking risks and action on the behalf of others, and investing in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.
A group of people who choose to meet on the basis of and explore a shared identity such as gender, age, religion, race or sexual orientation.
A technique an ally can use to boost the message of a member of a less dominant group by repeating what that person said and giving them credit for it.
Read this Vox article to learm more how amplification is used as a successful tool by women in Obama's White House to fight gender bias.
Someone who has total or substantial responsibility for ongoing care and support of another person. This may be a child, a partner, a parent, a relative or a friend.
Chronic Disorder or Disease
A physical or mental condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or comes with time.
Someone whose sense of gender identity and expression corresponds with their birth sex.
The likelihood that a job candidate is able to adapt to the core values and collective behaviours that make up a company. To the status quo, basically.
The likelihood that a job candidate is able to contribute, not conform, to the core values and collective behaviours that make up a company.
The differentiation of individuals or social groups to each other(one individual can, therefore, never be“diverse”). A diverse company is an environment in which differing identities – in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation – co-exist.
Cultural beliefs, values and traditions that are thought of as“normal” and, therefore, as preferred and right, while other ways of living are devalued, marginalised, and associated with low cultural capital.
Ethnic group or ethnicity
Agroup whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or shared cultural traditions.
Someone’s perception of their gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex.
Someone who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
A physical or mental condition caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome.
The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases are activated involuntarily and without our awareness or intentional control.
A phenomenon in which high-achieving people are unable to internalise their accomplishments and instead constantly fear being exposed as a “fraud.” Research indicates that members of underrepresented groups are more likely to be affected by this ‘syndrome’ than others.
To be included means people share a feeling of belonging to a team or company, regardless of their differing identities. To create an inclusive culture means recognising and removing the barriers that prevent people from having this feeling.
The process of making our products accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible.
The process of ensuring that all marginalised and excluded groups are stakeholders in development processes.
The interconnected nature of social categorisations as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
An acronym that encompasses the diverse groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex and asexual populations and allies.
A combination of the word “man” and “explain”, used to describe the act of men explaining things to someone, typically a woman, in condescending or patronising ways. Read Rebecca Solnit's “Men Explain Things To Me” – she'll explain.
This term was coined by psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe the tiny, casual, almost imperceptible insults and degradation often felt by marginalised groups.
The acknowledgment that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome, and should be treated as such.
Any gender identity that does align with the male and female binary.
The belief that the tech industry isn’t diverse because of a scarcity of available talent. The reality is that the pipeline is only part of the issue – better recruitment tactics and interview processes, a focus on retention and lots more can help create more diversity.
Abbreviation of the term "person of colour". The term encompasses all non-white people, emphasising shared experiences of systemic racism(although racism affects different groups differently). The term may also be used with other collective categories of people such as "communities of colour" (COC), "men of colour" (MOC), and "women of colour" (WOC).
A right or advantage that only some people have access or availability to because of their social group membership.
The practice of including one or a few members of an underrepresented group in a team, company or at an event, without their having authority or power equal to that of other group members. This places a burden on an individual to represent all others like them.
Tone policing is a silencing tactic used in arguments or discussions that focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself.
Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
This terms describes any subset of a population that holds a smaller percentage within a significant subgroup than it holds in the general population. Women are often an underrepresented group in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, for example.