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Essential DE&I Terminology

Updated: May 9

HUU is working with one of the leading DE&I companies, SISU.

SISU are transforming the way people think about DE&I and will be providing essential information to help you with everything Equality, Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing related.

With so many acronyms and DE&I terminology, we spoke to SISU to help you understand the key terminology that you may come accross.


The presence of a wide range of identities, backgrounds, and characteristics within a group or community, encompassing differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and more.


The state of being equal, where individuals have the same rights, opportunities, and treatment regardless of their diverse characteristics. It aims to eliminate discrimination and ensure fairness.


The concept of fairness and justice in providing resources, opportunities, and support based on individual needs, acknowledging that different individuals may require different levels of assistance to achieve equal outcomes.


The deliberate and intentional effort to create an environment where diverse individuals feel valued, respected, and included. It goes beyond mere representation to actively involve and engage everyone in the community.


The feeling of acceptance, connection, and being an integral part of a group or community. It emphasises creating an inclusive environment where individuals feel they are valued for who they are.


The recognition and understanding of how different social identities (for example race, gender, class) intersect and overlap, influencing an individual's experiences and opportunities.

Unconscious Bias:

Prejudices or stereotypes that affect decision-making in an automatic and unintentional manner. Being aware of and addressing unconscious biases is crucial for promoting fairness and inclusion.


Subtle, often unintentional, verbal or behavioural expressions of bias that communicate negative messages to individuals based on their marginalised identities.

Cultural Competence:

The ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people from diverse cultures. It involves being aware of one's own cultural biases and being respectful of differences.


The active and intentional effort of someone from a privileged or majority group to support and advocate for individuals from marginalised or underrepresented groups.


The design and provision of products, services, or environments that can be accessed and used by individuals of all abilities, ensuring inclusivity for people with disabilities.


A widely held but fixed and oversimplified idea or image of a particular type of person or thing, often based on assumptions about their characteristics or abilities.

Affinity Groups:

Voluntary, often employee-led groups that bring together individuals with shared characteristics or experiences, fostering support, networking, and a sense of community.

Implicit Bias:

Unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that affect understanding, actions, and decisions. Recognizing and addressing implicit bias is crucial for promoting fairness and equity.

Cultural Humility:

An ongoing process of self-reflection and openness to understanding and respecting other cultures. It involves a commitment to lifelong learning about diverse perspectives.

Institutionalised Discrimination:

Discriminatory practices that are ingrained in the policies, procedures, and structures of organisations or institutions, leading to systemic disadvantages for varying groups.


Unearned advantages or benefits accorded to individuals based on their social identity, contributing to systemic inequalities. Acknowledging privilege is an essential step toward fostering equality.



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