What is DEI?

The definitions listed below are being used by the Office of DEI to guide work across the department. These definitions are subject to change.

Diversity: Is the full spectrum of identities including but not limited to national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, neurodiversity, lived experiences, geographic location, and family structure. Who we are; The mix of our similarities and differences; Including but not limited to country of birth, language, race, color, disability, sex, etc.

Equity: Means consistent, fair, and just treatment and outcomes for all persons in the workplace at personal, interpersonal, cultural, and systemic levels.

Inclusion: Involvement, belonging, respect, and connection; feeling valued and included across diversity groups; regularly using a diverse group of staff in decision-making; recognizing and understanding our differences as having worth, dignity, and value in the workplace. Creates a culture where diverse employees feel valued, respected, and encouraged to fully participate, are able to be their authentic selves in the workplace and feel a sense of belonging.  

Accessibility: Provides equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Accessibility encompasses the broader meanings of inclusion and refers to how organizations make space for the characteristics that each person brings.

Belonging: Intentionally promotes an inclusive, equitable workplace that reflects the communities we serve, where everyone feels a sense of belonging, and our diverse backgrounds and experiences are valued and recognized as strengths.

Workforce DEI and a Strong and Inclusive Workforce: Requires that everyone from all backgrounds and categories has a fair opportunity to reach their full potential at work and achieve successful outcomes.

Health Equity: The intentional effort to ensure that everyone experiences a fair opportunity to achieve the highest level of health without barriers to access and care. Health equity can be achieved through ongoing focused societal efforts to address and eliminate inequities and injustices that lead to health disparities. 

Statement on Intersectionality: The intersectionality between Health Equity, Workforce DEI and a Strong and Inclusive Workforce is that discrimination and exclusion for all variables at the personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels are root causes of both health and workforce inequity. Workforce DEI skills are essential for effective workforce intervention at all 4 levels to foster well-being and access and save lives.

DEI Definitions

Additional Definitions and Resources from OSHR

For Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Frequently Asked Questions and answers, please visit the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) EEO FAQs page, EEO FAQs | NC Office of Human Resources

For more definitions on Types of Discrimination (Age, Disability, Genetic Information, National Origin, Race/Color, Religion, Sex, Pregnancy, Unlawful Workplace Harassment), visit the OSHR Types of Discrimination Page