D&I Glossary

Tech Nation, June 15, 2021 2 min read

On your company’s journey with Diversity & Inclusion, it’s important to understand a few key definitions: 

Protected characteristics

Protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of one or more of these characteristics. These have been set in the Equality Act of 2010. 

Additional characteristics to consider

We can also consider additional characteristics when creating inclusive workplaces  such as neurodiversity (including different ‘cognitive styles’ or diagnoses on the neurodiversity spectrum, such as autism or ADHD), socio-economic background, educational and work differences.

GDPR and privacy notice and privacy policy

The UK General Data Protection Regulation which addresses organisations obligations on recording, monitoring and storing various types of data. 

Privacy policies are internal documents intended to explain to employees their responsibilities for ensuring GDPR compliance. 

The UK General Data Protection Regulation requires that ‘data controllers’ provide certain information to people whose information (personal data) they hold and use. A privacy notice is one way of providing this information

Your organisation must have a privacy notice and a privacy policy to comply with the GDPR.


Diversity is not a single characteristic issue and it is important to understand the full breadth of identities and how they overlap – referred to as intersectionality – in order to create the highest performing workforce.

As the Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, Kamran Mallick, said: 

“Diversity isn’t about any one single aspect of an individual’s make up, it’s about the intersectional dimension. The multiple levels of discrimination and exclusion that are experienced.”

The term ‘intersectional’ is about understanding the unique experiences of people who hold two or more identity pillars. For example, someone who is both female and Black holds an ‘intersectional’ identity. People with intersectional identities face a unique form of bias or discrimination because of this overlap.  

You can find more definitions in this glossary, and The Other Box offers more in-depth training on terms within diversity if you require more detail.


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