194: Blended – Equality vs Diversity: What’s The Difference?

This is the seventh episode of our new show, Blended. Hopefully by now, you know exactly what Blended is all about. We’re opening up conversations and giving the mic to all of the underrepresented voices in our industry – women, the LGBTQIA+ community, people of colour, those with disabilities, whether they’re visible or hidden, and many more. And we’re getting candid, and sometimes uncomfortable, so we can challenge the status quo together and help move the industry forward for everyone.

Today in Episode 7, ‘Equality vs Diversity: What the Difference?,’ I’m joined by another group of amazing supply chain professionals who are passionate about the issues of equality and diversity and will be sharing their experiences, research and points of view with us, so we can open up this huge topic and tackle it head on.



[00.23] Introductions to our Blended panellists.

  • Julie – Manager Business Systems Analysis at AMD
  • Adrian – Director of Procurement Strategy and Innovation at Help My Bid
  • Sabrina – Contract Specialist for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers
  • Julian – Vocational Expert and Career Counsellor

“Diversity and inclusion means for me: treating everybody as a human being, with respect, kindness, humility and without judgement.” Julie

[04.34] The group discuss the difference between equality and diversity.

  • The nuances around the words equality, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Can businesses build strategies to tackle the issues of equality and diversity if they don’t understand how they align with their core values?
  • Has diversity replaced equality?
  • Backing up intention with real action and policy.
  • The layers within diversity and appreciating the different perspectives behind the person.

“Are we holding our standards up to what our core values are, things like transparency, ethics, responsibility – so when you talk about equality does it all mesh and align?” Sabrina

[18.29] The panellists reflect on what the picture of diversity looks like at company level.

  • Diversity targets and percentages.
  • Where is the diversity located within the company – what are the levels of influence, and who are the decision makers?
  • The importance of continuing to learn and improve.
  • Does diversity policy actually represent everyone?
  • The risk of alienating certain groups, by accident, whilst championing others.
  • Fear of change.
  • The need for people to be uncomfortable.

“If we’re all going to enjoy this place we’re creating, we all need to give a little. And when you start to do that, you really participate in the word equality by incorporating values and cultures that are important to others.” Julian

[32.18] The group take a closer look at the word ‘racism.’

  • Its definition and connotations.
  • Race as a modern invention designed to segregate and create hierarchy.
  • Historical power and systems – who benefits?
  • Can white people experience racism?
  • Prejudice vs racism.

“Racism goes hand in hand with stereotyping. When we can get to a place of treating everybody on their own merit, then the chance for racism minimizes because we’re treating everyone as an individual.” Julian

[57.09] The panellists discuss the term ‘white privilege.’

  • Does white privilege exist?
  • Understanding the phrase – is it positive, negative or neutral?
  • How do we use privilege for good?
  • The importance of auditing privilege and being proactive about dismantling structures that give you privilege whilst subjugating others.

“White privilege just means that your race doesn’t put you at a disadvantage in society, but people get very wrapped up in the polarity of that phrase.” Sabrina

[1.13.38] The group give their ideas on how to start to create practical change, within the workforce and the wider community.

  • Conduct self-study, research, ask questions and have open conversations from the heart.
  • Be deliberate in your actions towards creating equity.
  • Start with the people you already have in your workforce and ask them how they could be better heard and included.
  • Remove unconscious bias from the hiring process.

“We are living experiences all at the same time, but we’re experiencing the same situation in different ways.” Adrian

[1.24.36] The panellists each give their sum-up for creating meaningful change.

  • Be intentional – Adrian
  • Be authentic – Julie
  • Be human – Julian
  • Listen – Sabrina

“Unless you audit what you’re doing, and you’re intentional about your action, it won’t change – just having the people in the room doesn’t make any difference.” Adrian


You can connect with Julie, Adrian, Sabrina and Julian over on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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