What is EDI?

Finding our way by knowing where we’re starting

What do we mean when we speak about equity, diversity, and inclusion? The UBC Equity & Inclusion Office has some foundational definitions to help us get grounded. For definitions of other common terms that surround EDI work, please see our glossary.


Equity refers to achieving parity in policy, process and outcomes for historically and/or currently underrepresented and/or marginalized people and groups while accounting for diversity. It considers power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes, in three main areas:

  • Representational equity: the proportional participation at all levels of an institution.
  • Resource equity: the distribution of resources in order to close equity gaps.
  • Equity-mindedness: the demonstration of an awareness of, and willingness to, address equity issues.


Differences in the lived experiences and perspectives of people that may include race, ethnicity, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion , marital status, family status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, class, and/or socio-economic situations.


Inclusion is an active, intentional, and continuous process to address inequities in power and privilege and build a respectful and diverse community that ensures welcoming spaces and opportunities to flourish for all.