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Equity and equality. The difference between these words is a mere two letters — but there’s a significant difference between their meanings. And when it comes to the workplace, that difference is crucial for managers to understand.
As HR Technologist points out, workplace equality means treating everyone in the workforce the same. All employees fall under one blanket of privileges, rules, and employees experience design. Workplace equality does not take demographic related needs into account — and that can result in an unfair work environment.
On the other hand, equity strives to identify the specific requirements of employees — needs that are related to ethnicity, age, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and so on. It subsequently takes the varying needs of each group into account by working to make up the difference between the minority and majority groups. In short, equity is key to truly empowering minorities.
From diversity to equity
Forbes explains that there are four steps on the road to equity:
The value of achieving workplace equity
While it might take effort and time to achieve workplace equity, it’s definitely worth the investment. It establishes a diverse thought process in innovation and decision making and it facilitates needs-based development for the workforce. Moreover, because it enhances engagement among all employees, it promotes work satisfaction and by extension retention. In the long run, it contributes significantly to the bottom line.