Diversity and Inclusion, or Diversity VS Inclusion?

by Mollie Zhang

It started with a conversation among the thought curators on the Editorial team. After Colton’s proposal of the “donut” diagram, we discovered that whenever we try to improve diversity of a design, its inclusivity will be the cost and decrease proportionally. And the following question thus came to us: will we be able to discuss enhancing diversity AND inclusion simultaneously in our writing?

To answer this question, the thought curation team designed an experiment. The editorial team is split into two separate groups to compete against each other and design a recruitment process for “Triple A multimedia design fraternity. ” However, what the two teams don’t know is the fact that they are working on different prompts: one team is designing a selective and diverse recruitment process, while the other team is focusing on a selective and inclusive process.

The two teams were given three weeks to develop their recruitment process, and presented in front of the entire team. We revealed the difference in their prompts right before they present to preserve the independence of their design thinking. The following will point out some major differences between the two design processes.

Definition of Inclusivity and Diversity

The inclusivity team defined inclusivity as “communication, compromising, understanding, and willingness to include.”

The diversity team emphasized diversity in people’s skills. They expect their brothers to be experts in diverse areas of design.

Written Application

The two teams both chose to use written application as their first stage of recruitment process. The applicants will submit an application form, and the brothers in the organization will evaluate based on their response.

The Inclusive Team

To evaluate the applicant’s passion while giving both potential and mature designers equal opportunity, the inclusive team decides to pick a variety of prompts and ask the applicants to critique three pieces of their choice. The team provides a total of nine prompts in three categories: branding identity, photography, and CAD.

The Diverse Team

The diverse team aims to design an application process that classifies the applicants for them and builds a basis for picking equally from different design fields. Thus, their application requires applicants not only to respond to a prompt, but also requires them to submit three or more past designs reflecting their strength.

Interview Process

Moving on to the next stage, both teams chose to interview the applicants that passed the first round of application. In this setting, both teams are designing it in an ideal situation where time consumption of training interviewers and conducting interviews are ignored.

This is the most interesting stage: the purpose of the two designs diverges and serves to either achieve diversity of final interviewees or elicit the inclusive character of the interviewees.


The two teams’ recruitment process follows the traditional route: application, interview, and final-round cut. However, their emphasis of candidates’ desired qualities are different. The diverse team ensures a new pledge class of people with distinct design skills, while the inclusive team implemented three rounds of interviews to evaluate the applicant’s communication skills and inclusive mindset. Aiming to achieve both diversity and inclusivity, we hope that this experiment elicits the end goal of these two ideals, and hope to combine the two processes to build a diverse and inclusive recruitment process.

Mollie Zhang

Mollie is a sophomore studying Linguistics and CS in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the team lead of Medium Editorial meta-team. She loves cheesecakes.