Sometimes we can be unsure or worry about knowing the right words to use when talking about diversity and inclusion. Sometimes that causes people to not talk about it at all, which means we don’t end up talking about race at work. We have put together this Glossary to help with keeping the conversations going.

Anti – Racist

A person who identifies and challenges the values, structures and behaviours that perpetuate systemic racism.


Prejudice; an inclination or preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgement.


(There are numerous definitions of what it means to be Black but for the purposes of Programme One we are utilising the definition below).

People of Black or Black British African, Caribbean or other Black ethnicity including those of mixed or multi ethnic heritage which includes Black heritage.

(Implicit) Bias

Deep-seated assumptions we make about people who are different than us without even realizing it – usually called implicit bias or unconscious bias


An acronym that stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The more common acronym is D &I which stands for Diversity & Inclusion


The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, national origin, age, physical/mental abilities and other categories that may result in differences in provision of goods, services or opportunities.

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favourably than another in similar circumstances
because of a protected characteristic. An employer cannot argue that it was not their intention to discriminate, as the law only considers the end result.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination is where an employer implements a policy or practice which applies to everyone, but which puts members of a group sharing a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. This is often a less obvious form of discrimination than direct discrimination.


Diversity is about recognising difference. It’s acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision-making and the workforce being representative of the organisation’s customers.


Equality is the condition under which every individual is treated in the same way, and is granted same rights and responsibilities, regardless of their individual differences


Working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique advantages or barriers.


Inclusion is when people’s differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work. An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances. An inclusive workplace has fair policies and practices in place and enables a diverse range of people to work together effectively.

Institutional Racism

The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin


Microaggressions are seemingly harmless but impactful everyday slights and exclusions that negatively highlight an individual’s Otherness.


A pre-judgment or unjustifiable, and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or groups toward another group and its members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics.


Racism is grounded in a presumed superiority based on racial heritage or ethnic background. Racism is often defined as Prejudice + Power as it is the combination of prejudice and power which enables the mechanisms by which racism leads to different consequences for different groups.