Why I’m fighting to ditch the term ‘diversity’ – and how we can actually become more inclusive without it.
The Back Story
Inspired by personal and work-life experiences, I created the hashtag #DoneWithDiversity in January 2020 to encourage fashion and beauty brands to rethink the language they’re using and consider if they are truly being inclusive to all.
I often have discussions with company representatives who say things like, ‘We care about diversity and inclusion – we will do more.’ But when I ask what ‘diversity and inclusion’ means to them, the answer boils down to: adding a few Black and brown faces to the room.
The problem with this attitude is that it still centres whiteness. It says heterosexual, non-disabled, white men and women are the norm – anybody who doesn’t conform to those categories is ‘diverse’. But there’s nothing inherently diverse about my skin colour – it’s normal.
Thinking of diversity in these terms ignores the fact that true inclusion is about so much more than appearances. It’s about recognising and celebrating the differences in culture and backgrounds, too.
Companies need to be truly committed to this all year round, not just when it’s beneficial to them for marketing purposes. The LGBTQ+ community don’t only exist during Pride month, just like Muslim people aren’t only relevant during Ramadan.