Your workplace has strived to keep all available opportunities equal for all employees. The ladder of achievements, bonuses and promotions are clearly set to ensure your staff has an equal opportunity to achieve more based on performance. When everything is an equal playing field at your workplace, have you achieved equity at your workplace? These are not the same. Equity is the instrumental piece many companies are missing and would benefit from with employee culture and performance.
Equity versus Equality
Equality and equity are not the same.
- Equality is providing everyone the same access to the same resources, without a regard to pre-existing barriers.
- Equity goes beyond providing everyone the same level of access to resources. Companies with equity view the pre-existing barriers for individuals and provide a variety of resources and levels of support to access the opportunities available.
This graphic provides a clear demonstration of the difference between the terms. As we walk through the processes companies should reflect on within their organization, refer back on this infographic. Remember, we want equity to provide equality to everyone in your business.
Has your company decided to continue working from home? Or maybe your company has implemented a flex schedule that allows both in office and at home working schedules? Business leaders need to continue providing employees emotional support to navigate any challenges that may impact daily work. An example of this is highlighted with how the coronavirus pandemic impacted women who had to leave the workforce to raise and support their families.
Leadership and organizations can support equity by finding ways to aid employees during these times. This can be reflected in some companies with adapting flex schedules and changing old paid time office policies in the employee handbooks. (Check out the 2021 Updates to the Benefits Package Expectations article for more information on this topic.) However, we remind employers the importance of keeping their team members accountable for their work through empathizing with employee’s individual situations and supporting them in a personalized way.
Examples of Equity in the Workplace
Providing equity in the workplace can be easier and less cost driven than many employers initially think. Simple actions like supplying left-handed scissors for employees in the copy room speak volumes. Here are additional examples of how equity can be addressed in workplace:
- Make job descriptions accessible and clear
- Skills-based hiring
- Provide equitable access for all employees
- Ensure equitable benefits
- Re-evaluate your equity practices
- Offer adaptable tools
- Make reasonable accommodations to work areas
When your company meets the unique needs for each of your employees, you have achieved equity within the workplace and employees will feel equal. Your employee retention and happiness will be reflected. Need more help on improving equity in your workplace? Contact Vinna Human Resources.
For more advice on DEI, check out our articles on diversity and inclusion.