Appendix 3: Key terms to understand gender equality
What does this mean?
Belonging occurs when people feel accepted, recognised, and everybody’s views and contributions are integrated, valued and respected. People feel confident and inspired to bring their whole selves to work because differences are embraced as strengths.
Cultural diversity refers to how people identify, based on a range of dimensions including ancestry, ethnicity, ethno-religiosity, language, national origin, race, and/or religion. The term Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) is an acronym to describe people who were born overseas, have a parent born overseas or speak a variety of languages.
Diversity refers to the differences found in people that create their unique identity, including age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, religion, disability, cognitive diversity, gender, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background. It also encompasses profession, education, political views, values, work experiences, and organisational role.
Equality is treating people the same regardless of differences. Although all people are given equal treatment, it assumes all people are starting from the same place. It can result in unequal outcomes if some have inherent advantage.
Equity is treating people fairly but differently. Equity promotes fairness by identifying differences and allocating resources based on need.
Gender balance refers to 40% men, 40% women, and 20% of any gender.
Gender norms are social norms that relate specifically to gender differences. It refers to informal rules and shared social expectations that distinguish expected behaviour on the basis of gender. For example, a common gender norm is that women will do the majority of domestic work or men will work full time.
Identity is the way we define ourselves and includes our values, beliefs, and personality. It can include those dimensions listed under ‘Diversity’ and encompasses the roles we play in our society and family, our past memories, our hopes for the future, as well as our hobbies and interests.
Inclusion reflects people being able to access opportunities, and being regularly asked to contribute perspectives and ideas. For instance, inclusion occurs when people of different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and abilities, are included on committees, consulted, and invited to comment.
Inclusive leadership is the mindsets, knowledge, skills and behaviours that leaders use in an effective and inclusive organisation.
Psychological safety is a shared belief the environment is safe to take risks and be vulnerable. People feel valued, able to express ideas and ask questions, and do not feel they will be punished for speaking up.
Unconscious bias refers to the unintentional stereotypes and beliefs and about different social and identity groups that are automatic and/or ingrained and can influence behaviour and perceptions and actions.
[Adapted from the University of Canberra Let’s Dance Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan 2020.]