When we talk about DEI - or diversity, equity, and inclusion - policies in the workplace, diversity and inclusion are straightforward topics. However, equity as a workplace concept may require more explanation. Like, what is the difference between equity and equality? And how do we implement equity at work? Read on to discover the answers to these questions.
Equity vs. Equality In the Workplace
Equality and equity are not synonymous though they are similar.
Equality in the workplace is: giving all employees access to the same resources and opportunities, like an equal distribution of money and benefits, or equal opportunity for advancement.
Equity in the workplace is: recognizing that every employee’s individual circumstances affect their access to those equal resources. Those employees whose circumstances provide them with less access may need more support in order to benefit from those equal resources.
3 Way to Implement Workplace Equity
- Equity means accessibility: can folks with disabilities access your job postings? Providing accessibility means creating multiple platforms for how talent can apply to your jobs. This might include adding image descriptions and posting on non-web based platforms. Physical spaces and materials should also be accessible. This might include assessing the wheelchair accessibility of your workspaces or adding closed captioning to video presentations.
- Equity means prioritizing skills over education: not everyone has access to higher education but should this bar them from job opportunities if they have the skills required to fulfill job requirements? To create an equitable hiring process, focus on skills and work experience rather than education credentials.
- Equity means evaluating your incentive efforts: financial and recognition based incentives are a great way to incentivize top-performing team members. While event-based incentives are often fun, they can sometimes require formal wear or centre around alcohol consumption which can alienate employees from low-income communities or those in recovery.
We find a lot of overlap between implementing equity practices and including the Hidden Workforce in your recruitment pool. The Hidden Workforce is a demographic of over 30,000 people in the eastern Ontario region who are currently not working, but who want to work. Many people within the Hidden Workforce would be empowered by equity programs in your hiring process.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Make Your Workplace Stronger
Find more information about DEI in the workplace here:
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