What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and why it matters

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion or DEI, is any practice that ensures candidates and employees from different backgrounds feel included and have opportunities to develop their careers in an organisation.

DEI has become a core value of many organisations that work towards an inclusive workforce. But what does it mean to be diverse, fair, and inclusive in a professional setting? How can you tell if a company is really implementing DEI as part of its values or simply checking off a box?  

Keep reading to learn the what, how, and why of DEI. 

Understanding the terminology 

What do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean? It might be easy to understand the general concept, but it can be challenging to understand what DEI looks like when successfully implemented.  


Diversity simply means the presence of many different things, people, or opinions. In the workplace, that usually refers to a variety of people’s age, socio-economic status, gender identity, ethnicity, race, etc.  

Diversity occurs when companies make a conscious effort to practice unbiased hiring (read our blog) or if they prioritize finding candidates and leaders that will bring different perspectives /voices to the table. Other signs of diversity include companies that partner with under-represented groups.  

Do you want to experience the hiring process with an unbiased assessment? Click here to view Smelt’s opportunities in the Life Sciences & Healthcare – we utilize unbiased assessments (created by Equalture) during the recruitment process to ensure a fair hire. 

Equalture is a game-based assessment introduced at the beginning of the hiring process to see the true potential of your candidates. Based on science, not bias. Equalture’s games are non-trainable, non-manipulable, free from biases and very enjoyable, which ensures equal treatment of all candidates.


Read more: What is a bias-free hiring process? 


The word equity is defined as “the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality” or “something that is fair and just.”

An equitable company ensures that its processes, policies, practices, and programs are fair and impartial for every individual.  

Equity is incredibly important if companies want to diversify. For example, having an inequitable application process can prevent multiple groups of people from applying or advancing to higher stages of the interview process. If a company’s job ads are hyper-focused on years of experience or job criteria, this could deter certain candidates. 


Inclusion occurs when all employees feel important, supported, and comfortable in the workplace. How can companies be inclusive? Not only do employees need the freedom to be themselves, but they also need to be provided with the same opportunities to contribute and grow like everyone else.  

Some examples of inclusion strategies are mentorship programs, employee resource groups, and inclusivity training.

These plans maintain an active vision for DEI and can indicate the core values of a company’s leadership.  

TIP: If you are not sure if a company is inclusive, you can ask what kind of initiatives or programs are currently in place to create a more DEI-friendly environment. Be sure to ask about the longevity of these programs.  

Why you should ask about the active policies and practices of DEI when considering a new position 

Implementing successful DEI programs and policies is time-consuming and requires effort to maintain long-term. When companies prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion and make it one of their core values, it creates a healthy working environment for everyone.  

Just a few benefits of DEI: 

  • More space for innovation and creative ideas – freedom to express your opinions /perspectives 
  • Better results – companies that prioritise DEI are statistically more successful  
  • An enjoyable working experience – employees that are valued and supported stay longer and grow further 
  • Broader connections and influence – working with a wide range of people can broaden your own perspectives and create opportunities to network with a more diverse pool of people 


Read more about the benefits here: 15 Key Benefits Of DEI To Communicate With Team Members (forbes.com) 

Implementing unbiased hiring in your organisation

Are you looking for recruiters that prioritise DEI and unbiased hiring?

Call or email our consultants for more information on Life Sciences job opportunities or to learn more about our unbiased assessment and hiring process.  

Call: +35 543 00 21 

Email: info@smelt.nl