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The following glossary provides terms and definitions that will help you navigate and understand the topics addressed in these guidelines. If you are not familiar with some of these concepts, we encourage you to make them part of your vocabulary and use them in your everyday interactions. Using appropriate language when discussing topics relevant to diversity and inclusion is a subtle, yet powerful way to communicate awareness and interest in social issues!


Anti-oppressive approaches

Anti-oppression work critically recognises the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its effects through actions and strategies that foster empowerment and emancipation of oppressed groups and individuals.



Cisgender or cis

Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. Non-trans is also used by some people.


Classism is a term that means to have prejudicial thoughts or to discriminate against a person or group based on differences in socioeconomic status and income level.



A physical or mental impairment that limits movements, senses, activities or emotions and which has a long-term effect on the ability to carry out dayto-day activities. More comprehensive definitions emphasise that disability should be understood as a lived experience that involves surviving within an oppressive, ableist system.


Different from prejudice, discrimination is the behaviour or action (usually negative) against a certain individual or group based on their shared characteristics (race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental abilities, and other categories that may result in differences).


Diversity is defined as individual differences between groups based on such things as: abilities, age, disability, learning styles, life experiences, neurodiversity, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, cultural, political or religious affiliation, any other difference.



Ethnicity, or Ethnic Group, is a way to divide people into smaller social groups based on characteristics like: cultural heritage, values, behavioural patterns, language, political and economic interests, ancestral geographical base.


The term "Equality" (in the context of diversity) is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities. 


Working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique barriers. The term “equity” (in the context of diversity) also refers to proportional representation (by race, class, gender, etc.).



Gender mainstreaming

Gender Mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality. Mainstreaming is not an end in itself but a strategy, an approach, a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. Mainstreaming involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities - policy development, research, advocacy/ dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, and planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes, projects and activities.

Gender minorities

Sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, queer, and/or intersex. Individuals with same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviours and those with a difference in sex development are also included. These populations also encompass those who do not self-identify with one of these terms but whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or reproductive development is characterized by non-binary constructs of sexual orientation, gender, and/or sex.

Gender non-conforming

Gender Non-Conforming sometimes called GenderVariant is a term used to describe a person who does not conform to society’s expectations of gender expression.

Gender norms/ roles

A Gender Role is a socially assigned expectation or cultural norm related to behaviour, mannerisms, dress, etc. based on gender. Gender roles can lead to harmful gender stereotypes about how genders should feel, look and behave.




The term Inclusion refers to the process of bringing people that are traditionally excluded into decision making processes, activities, or positions of power. Inclusion is the result of welcoming, respecting, supporting, involving, valuing and empowering those around you equally.

Internalised oppression

The subconsciously absorbed: 1) negative and/or inferior feelings, opinions, or beliefs about one’s own non-dominant social identity group(s), and/or, 2) positive and/or superior feelings, opinions, or beliefs about dominant social identity groups of which one is not a member. Both sets of ideas emerge in reaction to prolonged exposure to manifestations of systemic discrimination.


A term coined by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw that explains how interactions between individuals’ identities such as race, gender, ethnicity, ability, economy, religion and sexual orientation determine and influence their life, opportunities and abilities.






The everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of colour, women, LGBTQIA+ populations or any other marginalsed groups experience in their day-to-day interactions with people.


Philosopher Kate Manne argues that rather than the common definition of misogyny as the deep hatred towards women, it could be understood as social systems or environments where women face hostility and hatred because they’re women in a world that has been historically a man’s world.

Music ecosystem

An ecosystem is a group of businesses or business activities that affect each other and work well together. A music ecosystem, like all ecosystems, is multiplicitous and in constant evolution. It includes the music industry, music education, music practice, audiences, musicians, venues, etc.



The practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.


Neurodiversity is a relatively new term coined in 1998 by autistic, Australian sociologist Judy Singer in 1998. The neurodiversity definition began as a way to describe people on the Autistic spectrum. Neurodiversity has since broadened to include people with: Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Order), Dyscalculia, DSD (Dyspraxia), Dysgraphia, Tourette Syndrome, and other neurological differences.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Nonbinary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.


Norm criticism is both a way of analysing and understanding norms and power structures as well as a tool for challenging and dismantling norms. By using norm criticism approaches, one can raise awareness of the privileges, power imbalances and exclusion that some norms create. It is also a way to challenge power structures and combat marginalisation of groups in society.



Broadly defined, objectification is seeing and/or treating a person, usually a woman, as an object. Reducing a person to a body or an appearance, treating a person as if they were owned by another and/or treating a person as if they lacked autonomy, agency and experience are all features of objectification.


Unearned lack of social power through belonging to a marginalised social group.



Refers to the (conscious or unconscious, positive or negative) attitudes and feelings one has towards an individual or group of individuals based on certain traits.


Unearned access to social power through belonging to a dominant social group.



Queerphobia is the systemized discrimination or antagonism directed against queer/LGBTQ+ persons, rooted in a desire to maintain heteronormativity.



Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.


Safe space

An environment in which everyone feels comfortable in expressing themselves and participating fully, without fear or attack, ridicule or denial of experience.


Sexism is any expression (act, word, image, gesture) based on the idea that some persons, most often women, are inferior because of their sex.

Socioeconomic Status

Socio economic status usually refers to the social standing and/or class of an individual or group. It is a combination of many factors, such as education, occupation, income and access to society.


A Stereotype is an over-generalized belief about a particular group or category of people. A stereotype represents the expectation that something is true about every member of that group.



Tokenism involves the symbolic involvement of a person in an organisation due only to a specified or salient characteristic (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, disability, age) in order to give a misleading appearance of an inclusive organisational culture.


An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), genderfluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bigender, trans man, trans woman,trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.

Trauma-informed approaches

According to the concept of a trauma-informed approach, “A program, organisation, or system that is trauma-informed: realises the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognises the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practises; and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization." A traumainformed approach can be implemented in any type of service setting or organisation and is distinct from trauma-specific interventions or treatments that are designed specifically to address the consequences of trauma and to facilitate healing.



Insufficient or disproportionately low representation than would be predicted by their proportion in the population.






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