The terminology of diversity and inclusion has shifted from a purely discrimination and inequality-focused approach to one that addresses ways of bringing different diversity elements together through integration and inclusion.This does not mean that discrimination and inequalities are no longer pertinent, but that, in order to deal with these important issues, it is necessary to bring diversity and inclusion into the mainstream and to include majority and dominant groups into the diversity dialogue. Discrimination and inequality still apply to populations that differ from the dominant group. Examples of this include women in management positions, non-dominant ethnicities in higher education and therefore in the workplace, and people with special abilities, just to name a few. We can distinguish between two general categories of discrimination: structural discrimination, and cognitive discrimination. Structural discrimination refers to an existing unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities; this unequal distribution has an impact on the power relationship between different populations. If we look at gender relations, for example, we can see that in many countries there are differences between the sexes in terms of the level of education and the type of degree obtained. We also observe that women tend to hold lower professional positions than men in general, and there is a gender pay gap even within the same profession. It is not surprising that more women than men live below the poverty line, particularly after retirement. The systemic lack of access to opportunities, including education, results in an unequal distribution of wealth and power. The power to make decisions and distribute resources remains in the hands of the dominant group, and this maintains the status quo. Structural discrimination occurs due to, and is above all maintained by cognitive discrimination. Cognitive discrimination focuses on individual cognitive processes that produce differences in perceptions based on characteristics such as physique, lifestyle, and values. We react to differences by confirming our own preferences and values and discrediting those of others whom we perceive as different. When differences are justified by unequal access to resources such as education, status and wealth, the differences in power between the various populations are confirmed. This process can be seen in gender and race relations in many parts of the world, for example. Together, cognitive and structural discrimination create and maintain a status quo in which a hierarchy of power and prestige is based on diversity factors such as gender, ethnic origin or abilities. For example, you will see that men are over-represented in important and prestigious positions in politics, public institutions and firms in societies that favour men. In such an environment, boys and girls tend to be rated differently even when their performance is identical. For example, in mathematics, teachers may perceive boys as talented when they obtain good results, whereas the same teachers perceive girls achieving the same results as working hard. This gender-based difference in assessment can affect career choices, and we observe that the majority of students on engineering courses are men, while the majority of social sciences students are women. This helps to maintain and reinforce the status quo. Although an established social system is a comfortable one as long as we accept this social order, it is not conducive to developing new ideas and possibilities which are essential in times of uncertainty. Darwin and the physical sciences have shown us that diversity is essential for survival by opening up new possibilities, particularly in times of uncertainty and change. Similarly, social diversity needs to be mobilised in response to social, economic and even environmental changes. In recent years, governments and businesses have begun to tackle structural discrimination through actions such as quota laws and equal opportunity programs. However, It is more difficult to combat cognitive discrimination, because this must be done at the individual level, and individuals like you and I are often unaware of the distinctions they make when interacting with their social environment. It is important to note that cognitive discrimination is systemic, it is an interactive phenomenon. The differences in category are recognized by both sides, and the inequalities in the power and prestige order are often consciously or unconsciously accepted by both parties. Identifying the forms of discrimination that are based on differences between populations is the first step towards reaching a common understanding of diversity issues. Developing a common vocabulary that addresses the experiences of both sides involved in the social imbalance creates a basis for inclusion. In the second module, “Categorization and Diversity Perceptions”, we will discuss the processes that generate and maintain cognitive discrimination in greater detail. In this first Module, we present concrete examples of structural discrimination based on different categories of diversity: gender, differently abled, cultural and social diversity, and intergenerational diversity. You will be asked to identify examples of structural discrimination and think about how such a system is maintained.