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Anti-racist, Implicit Bias, Institutional Racism and Micro-aggressions; all words you may have heard, but do you know what they mean? 

At Gravitas, we are proud to have an inclusive workspace, our own D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) committee, and to be part of Programme One; a group of recruitment industry leaders dedicated to removing the inequalities that ‘restrict and inhibit the engagement of Black talent in the recruitment sector.’

As part of Programme One, a glossary of important diversity and equality terms has been created to encourage positive conversations using inclusive language that makes it easier to talk to others about complex issues. 

So why are these words important? 

In order to have positive and open conversations people need to have confidence in the language they are using; according to a 2021 survey, 40% of Brits are afraid to say the word ‘Black’ in the workplace out of fear that they may offend colleagues or employees.

See Which Words You Know And Expand Your Knowledge With These Key Terms:

Anti-racist: A person who identifies and challenges the values, structures and behaviours that support systemic racism.

Bias: Prejudice; an inclination or preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgements.

Black: (There are numerous definitions of what it means to be Black but for the purposes of Programme One we are using this definition). People of Black or Black British African, Caribbean, or other Black ethnicity including those or mixed or multi-ethnicity heritage which includes Black heritage.

Implicit Bias: Deep-seated assumptions we make about people who are different than us without even realising it. This is usually called implicit bias or unconscious bias.

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

Direct Discrimination: This 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: 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: Recognising difference, acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision making and the importance of a workforce being representative of the organization’s customers.

Inclusion: 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 can 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.

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

Equity: Working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways

Institutional Racism: The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin.

Micro-aggressions: Micro-aggressions are seemingly harmless but impactful everyday slights and exclusions that negatively highlight an individual’s Otherness.

Prejudice: A pre-judgement or unjustifiable, and usually negative attitude towards an individual or groups and its members. These judgements are typically based on unsupported generalisations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognised and treated as individuals with individual characteristics.

Racism: Racism is grounded in a presumed superiority to others because of their racial heritage or ethnic background.

Want to work in an inclusive workspace where your opinions matter and your ideas are valued?

Find out more about Gravitas and apply now for a chance to join the team.