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Why You Shouldn't Forget the ‘E’ in DE&I

September 20, 2023
ASK Consulting

It’s undeniable that we live in an uber socially-conscious world. In recent years, topics concerning race and identity have moved to the forefront of conversations. The issues surrounding these subjects are also no stranger to the workplace.

Now, employers are prioritizing diversity and inclusion at work more than ever. Bias training have been implemented, and chief diversity officers have been hired.

However, the work is far from over. Employers moving from diversity to inclusion also need equity to maintain progress. Here’s what equity means in the workplace and why it’s vital for lasting change.

What is equity in the workplace?

In short, equity in the workplace is the concept of having fair opportunities for all employees based on their unique needs. It also ensures fairness and equality in terms of outcomes. Equity identifies and removes the obstacles that oppose the representation and participation of groups within an organization.

Often, equity is confused with equality. Equality in the workplace is fair treatment for all employees. In contrast, equality does not consider unique factors that pose barriers to marginalized people or the fairness of desired results.

Why is workplace equity important? All things are considered.

Equity is about leveling the playing field and examining the dynamics that ensure all employees have what it takes to succeed at work. Equitable workplaces acknowledge the needs related to identities concerning gender, age, race, ethnicity and more.

In essence, equity is the work required to achieve true equality. It ensures businesses are seeing employees as individuals with different experiences and opportunities.

Your bottom line depends on equity

The benefits of diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace are priceless. As our world becomes more socially connected, it’s only in businesses’ best interest to provide fair opportunities based on employees’ individual needs. These benefits include:

  • Increased retention: When employees feel like there are opportunities for them at a company, they’re motivated to stay. Employees who remain committed to a company help businesses avoid project delays and the high costs associated with replacing talent.
  • More revenue and innovation: It’s no secret that diversity, equity and inclusion benefit a company’s bottom line. A study conducted by Boston Consulting Group discovered that businesses with diverse management teams gain 19% higher revenues and more innovation.
  • Rich perspectives: The more insight a company has, the more better-informed decisions it can make. Equity provides representation which in turn creates diversity of thought. A company with a wide breadth of perspectives can foster more innovation and creative solutions than competitors who don’t possess the same attributes.

Better representation, especially among leadership

A great benefit of an equitable workplace is the guarantee of opportunities across the board for all. When unique needs are addressed, more employees are represented. When there is more representation, there is diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

As mentioned before, equity provides the resources employees need to individually succeed. It also helps them obtain leadership positions. Having the opportunity to grow within a company is essential to building a management team that is diverse and rich in perspectives.

Equity isn’t about marking off checkboxes or engaging in warm conversations about our differences. Equity is about the work required to create ample access to opportunities for everyone. Companies can find equity by taking action and doing what is fair for all, including individuals

Diversity, equity and inclusion work together

Diversity, equity and inclusion are intertwined and complementary to one another. The success of one initiative depends on the other. Diversity and inclusion can’t be made possible with equity—the action needed to combat the systems and institutions that prevent representation.

A one-size-fits-all approach to DEI efforts will never address the individual needs of people. Equity in the workplace is the mere act of ensuring every person is seen and included.

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