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Glossary of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Terms

A glossary of terms, some that I wasn’t completely aware of:

  • Ableism: Discrimination that favors able-bodied people.
  • Accomplice: Someone who uses their privilege to actively advocate for change as it pertains to BIPOC, women, disabled people and so forth. An example of this is a white person who calls out racism in the workplace.
  • Ally: A more passive version of an accomplice. An example of an ally is someone who supports the cause but may not put themselves on the line.
  • BIPOC: Black, Indigenous and people of color. This term is an alternative to simply saying “people of color,” which fails to recognize the unique experiences and hardships of Black (slavery) and Indigenous (genocide) folks in the U.S.
  • Cisgender: Person whose gender matches their sex assigned at birth.
  • Culture fit: Code for “looks like me, thinks like me,” which can lead to homogeneous workplaces.
  • Diversity report: An oftentimes yearly report where tech companies show their employee demographic breakdown.
  • Equality: Treating everyone the same, regardless of any structural barriers of discrimination.
  • Equity: Treating people in fair and just ways that take into account systemic discrimination and other structural barriers.
  • Gender nonconforming: People who identify with no specific gender.
  • Imposter syndrome: When individuals doubt their worth and accomplishments and fear being exposed as a fraud.
  • Intersectionality: The concept that people face multi-faceted layers of discrimination as a result of their intersecting identities relating to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc. For women and trans people of color, the oppressive institutions of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia all come into play and cannot be examined separately.
  • Microaggression: Casual comments, behaviors or actions that are driven by underlying biases about a particular race, gender, sexuality or other characteristic. A classic example of this is telling a Black person, “You’re so articulate!” or, “You’re the whitest Black person I know!” The former suggests it’s rare for Black people to be articulate while the latter implies that Black person’s behavior doesn’t fit in with society’s stereotypical ideas of Blackness.
  • Performative: Engaging in woke speak without taking action.
  • Pipeline problem: A misconception that the lack of diversity in tech is a result of too few Black and Latinx people interested in technology.
  • Transgender: Person whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth.
  • Unconscious bias: Also known as implicit biases, these are underlying beliefs people have about certain groups of people that are powered by stereotypes. Over the years, however, some have argued that these types of biases are not all that unconscious.
  • White privilege: The benefits and advantages that people have simply for being white in society. .
  • Woke: Aware of social justice and racial justice issues in society.

via TechCrunch

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