Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination

Qualification: Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care
Unit name: Equality and inclusion in care settings
Learning outcome: 1. Understand the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion
Assessment criteria: 1.1 Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination

Equality, diversity and inclusion are important aspects of your role as a healthcare worker, so it is important that you understand what these terms mean.


Equality means treating everyone fairly and equitable and ensuring all individuals have the same opportunities. This does not always mean treating people equally – for example, you can provide the same information in written form to two individuals but if one of those individuals has a learning disability and is unable to read and comprehend it, they are being treated unfairly.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing the differences of individuals. By working with individuals with a diverse range of skills, approaches and perspectives, it is possible to gain additional insights into your practice. For example, if you have a co-worker that is a Hindu, then they will be able to provide guidance on supporting individuals of that religion as well as providing information from their unique viewpoint.


Inclusivity is about ensuring that everyone is encouraged to participate and that no one feels excluded or marginalised because of their differences.

It is also essential that you know the meaning of discrimination so that you can recognise, challenge and prevent it from happening.


Discrimination is when individuals are treated unfairly because of their differences. The Equality Act 2010 identifies nine characteristics that are unlawful to discriminate against. They are disability, age, gender, religion/belief, sexual orientation, maternity and pregnancy, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership and race.

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