UW Research

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Definitions

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not just a phrase. Each word speaks to distinct values. These definitions are collected from the Office of Research staff and reflect our values. We welcome comments about these definitions at or-dei-committee@uw.edu.

Diversity is the presence of differences that enrich our workplace. Some examples of diversity may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis) ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective in our workplace. There are many more.

We acknowledge that our American culture is rife with systemic racism, sexism, ageism and classism that negatively impacts diversity in the workplace.

We cannot fix all of society’s ills, however, we can take steps individually and in our workplace to ensure these systemic ills are not condoned or tolerated.  

We acknowledge that we can improve diversity in our work environment.

We acknowledge that a diverse workplace benefits everyone

We acknowledge our biases and use this knowledge to bring together and employ diverse groups and opinions into decision making. This includes groups who have been and remain underrepresented and marginalized in the field of research and in the broader society.

Diversity does not mean we hire based on quotas.  

Diversity means we hire the candidate that best meets the needs of the unit from a diverse pool of applicants.

Equity is ensuring that access, resources, and opportunities are provided for all to succeed and grow, especially for those who are underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged.

The goal for equity is to promote justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources within our workplace. 

Equity means all persons are paid commensurate with their job duties and performance regardless of their race, sex, age or other personal factors.  

Equity means all persons are provided with resources to succeed at and engage in their job.

Equity means opportunities for job growth and career paths are provided equally to everyone with a focus on merit and not privilege.

Equity calls on leaders to provide resources and to provide decision making authority to groups that have historically been disadvantaged and requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion is a workplace culture that is welcoming to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, abilities, and religion and everyone is valued, respected and able to reach their full potential.