How Different Types of Equity Impact Work Environments
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a philosophy and set of practices that help ensure all employees are provided with opportunity and treatment regardless of their background. Do you know what Equity means in the workplace? If you don’t, then this post is for you. In this post, we explore what Equity means in the workplace and how different types of equity impact work environments. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training can have a significant impact on your organizations performance.
There are several dictionaries out there that claim the definition of “equity” includes the following: equality, fairness, justice, impartiality, and non-discrimination. Equity is about fairness; it means everyone has the same opportunity to succeed and have accountability. Equity is an equal representation at every level of the company, from the line workers to the executive suite. Equity is about making sure everyone gets their fair share of opportunities. When underrepresented employees look up the chain of command and do not see representation at the highest levels, they know they do not belong and leave the company. In short, Equity is the ideal condition in any working environment; the belief that everyone should be given the same chance regardless of anything else about them. However, it’s not just about fairness and equal treatment. It’s also about helping each person achieve their unique potential by understanding and appreciating who they are and where they come from.
Understanding Equity & Inequities
So, we create an environment where people can work, learn, and grow to their fullest potential. Understanding that inequities exist is the first step to making Equity happen. Inequities exist between different groups in our society, and that these inequities are caused by forces like racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism, transphobia, and more. Those inequities enter our workplace every day, and that impacts our culture.
Equity In Action
To retain and attract top talent in your workplace, there must be Equity at all levels of the organization. Equity is not just the result of fair treatment, and it is many behaviors and actions. Equity in action can be expressed in many ways, including fostering trust and empathy between people belonging to different groups; Broadening access to company resources (e.g., information, advocacy, services) for underserved populations through collaboration with dominant groups; Including often marginalized peoples in decision-making processes like company HR policies and benefits; Reaching conclusions about root causes, adopting solutions, and taking action with appropriate metrics to measure success. To apply equity-based principles in this day and age of increasing cultural diversity, we must first understand our backgrounds, privileges, and cultural biases. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion all go hand in hand, can’t have one without another in the workplace.
In practice, Equity asks questions like these: Is your company addressing the needs of diverse populations, or are all members of management focused on white males? We’re seeing questions about the specific ways that women of color are addressing their own needs, whether there is intersectionality in leadership, and if white males are participating in the discussion of DEI. It’s important to consider people’s lived experiences when creating policy and strategy, as DEI is about providing various levels of access for multiple people into your brand and culture. For example, personnel policies should focus on getting the right people in the right seats on a bus headed in a company’s desired direction. Once those seats are filled, leadership must keep those people from getting off the bus as it works toward its final destination.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training and Employee Understanding
In a nutshell, DEI is the ongoing process of understanding and valuing differences. We’re not just different backgrounds and cultures; we’re also different personalities and perspectives. So we embrace that and use it to our advantage. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training is an important part of helping management and staff understand and value these differences. However, to truly improve an organization’s ability to deliver presence and fairness, DEI needs to become everyone’s shared responsibility with proper accountability.
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