Myth Busting Diversity and Inclusion

29th November 2023

Have you heard any of these?

  • DE&I is just about gender and race.
  • DE&I is about exclusivity rather than inclusivity.
  • DE&I is for HR, not a shared effort.
  • DE&I is only about meeting quotas and ticking boxes.
  • DE&I lowers standards (i.e. hiring less qualified candidates).
  • There are not enough qualified diverse candidates.

There are a lot of common myths in the world of diversity and inclusion swirling about.

D&I, I&D, DEI, EDI… whichever way you look at it, diversity and inclusion is of paramount importance, not only in today’s workplace, but society in general.  Here at the SWA we are working to help demystify some unhelpful ideas around diversity and inclusion.

Recently, we invited a panel of D&I specialists to discuss some of the myths around D&I and to offer SWA member companies some support for the challenges they are experiencing, remembering that a lot of these challenges are also opportunities.

One of the key outcomes of the discussion is challenging the perception of fairness. Is fairness itself a actually a myth?

A point which has been expertly made by one of our contributors was that if you remember when you were back in school and in an exam situation, some students, maybe even you, were given extra time to complete their work. Recalling your school days, you probably agree how “normal” this was. Perhaps someone had additional support needs in terms of reading and writing, or they happened to have broken their writing arm just in time for exam season. We never questioned it then. Why do we question it now?

We have been reflecting on how to achieve inclusion, how recognising differences and changing our approach will help support opportunities for all and help build links with all communities. If we want to effect meaningful change, we must be creative, be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and acknowledge that if we stick with the status quo, we will continue to get the same results.

One of our members summed it all up very neatly by referencing a quote she had heard: “It's not a pie that we are dividing up.  Giving someone more doesn't mean that someone else has to get less.”

Here are some top tips to help you think about D&I myths:


  1. Try being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  2. Question how "norms" limit opportunities for furthering inclusion.
  3. Focus on actions rather than trying to change beliefs.
  4. Be creative - doing the same thing will only bring the same results.
  5. Demand change by asking more from yourself.


You will find useful resources for diversity and inclusion in lots of places. Why not start with researching Inclusive Employers?

If you are looking for role a new role, firstly, check our vacancies page and, secondly, you can reference the SWA Diversity and Inclusivity Charter. The Charter is undergoing a refresh but is a great place to start to find out the Scotch Whisky industry's aims in the this area.

Scotch Whisky is diverse drink, from cocktails to on the rocks, we are championing our industry to continue its journey in inclusion!








The Scotch Whisky Association

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Quartermile Two, 2 Lister Square, Edinburgh EH3 9GL
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