What We Lose When We Keep Adding
Have you noticed what we once called “Diversity” as a field gradually keeps getting a longer name?
- Diversity became
- Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), became
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), becoming
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging . . .
It’s not the only place we’ve seen this.
In our efforts to “not leave anything out,” we potentially leave out more when we get too specific about a title, a field or even a cause.
❗And we risk diluting our message.
I believe the intention goes something like this:
”We don’t just want differences represented (Diversity), we want the people comprising these differences to be treated as a part of (Inclusion), and we want this to be done fairly (Equity), and we want them to feel like they are a part of (Belonging), and I think that’s it, but of course there is more because we also care about Representation, and Absence of Discrimination, and . . .”
And the name of the field becomes so long that we need to use an acronym (like DEIB) instead of a word, like Diversity.
- So have we really made our message clearer?
- Have we made it more efficient?
- Have we made it more impactful?
Of course there are times when it’s helpful or necessary to get more specific, but let’s not just assume that more is better.
And let’s not assume something is better just because everyone else is doing it .
Instead, let’s balance the benefits of more specificity against its costs, before elaborating.
👩🏻⚖️ And then decide for ourselves whether it serves our intended purpose to adopt a new term.