Diversity and inclusion are sometimes used in each other’s stead but there is a clear difference between these two concepts. Diversity is about the various differences and inclusion on the other hand is about making some sense out of the diversity thus making the differences work together for a common purpose and goal. In this article, we will be exploring the various differences between the concept of diversity and the concept of inclusion and how their differences helps to make the society function at its peak.
Diversity has to do with the recognition and understanding of the differences and uniqueness in people whiles inclusion also has to do with making these differences feel at home and cherished. The society is a group of people with a common goal and the society is like the human body; the head, the neck, the hands, legs and other parts all play a major function in making the whole body function properly. There is no way the hand would say that the leg is not the same as it is and so it would not collaborate when the leg is performing its functions especially during a run. The various parts of the body recognize each other’s uniqueness and differences yet they all work together to get the body at a certain level of satisfaction and that is the concept of inclusion. The same way in the society, there are people who are being recognized with their unique differences thus diversity but when these differences are overlooked and they are involved and made comfortable in their various endeavors in the society, then the concept of inclusion is said to have taken place.
Diversity’s focus is mainly on the cultural and demographic differences. Cultural differences in the sense that, there are diverse cultures in the society. Society here can be a country, a nation or even a whole continent. Within the African continent, there are diverse cultures despite everyone in the African continent being an African and these diverse cultures define them of who they are. There are various ethnic groups with different languages and practices which makes up the concept of diversity thus the differences. When these differences spotted does not guarantee stereotyping or ethnicity bias, and everyone is accepted with their unique cultures and demographics such as age, marital status, etc., then inclusion has prevailed in such situations.
Diversity could be the “what” in the society whiles inclusion could be the “how” in the society. What makes each and every one different and how do we make these differences work? Diversity is about identifying the what’s that exists in the society and inclusion is about how to make the what’s feel accepted and welcomed in the society.
Diversity can also be described with the metaphor “having seat at the table” and inclusion on the other hand can also be described with the metaphor “having a voice at the table”. Once the differences are spotted and recognized in the society, that is an initial step of putting such people at the table without any contributions but giving them the voice thus involving them and allowing them to express themselves in the society means they have been included. It is just being recognized as a group member in a group studies yet you are not given the chance to express yourself but when there is the chance for self-expression and contributions, then inclusion is said to have taken place.
Diversity is also the state of being different or varied whiles inclusion is also the state of being valued and respected. We can realize the various differences are connected to each other. There are various varieties in the society and these varieties is the diversity but when these varieties are respected and valued like any other differences, then inclusion is said to have taken place. Diversity is all about the differences and inclusion is all about valuing and respecting the differences in the society.
In Africa for instance, it seems every country in Africa has a different culture and that fact does not erase the fact that, the 54 countries in Africa are all Africans despite the differences. Different people are in the same territory and diversity is said to be operating at such instance and these different people coming together with their ideologies, contributions and efforts means inclusion is taking place. Once everyone is involved in the African society, every country would try its best to contribute ideas and opinions to help build the continent and that is all about inclusion.
It is therefore unwise to spot the differences in the society and use these differences against each other but in the better sense, everyone should feel at home in the society despite the various differences and that is a key factor in society development.
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