Guest Blog from Jude Harvey, ED&I Consultant.
We can pinpoint many points in history where society stops and reflects on its actions, but in the past 18 months the landscape for EVERY individual has changed significantly. As employees across the globe have engaged in discussion about racial justice, the safety of women on our streets and the impact of COVID-19, never has diversity and inclusion been a more important consideration for businesses. The health crisis continues to disrupt how we work together, engage with our customers and suppliers and business leaders are having to re-assess both their strategic direction and how they operate on a day-to-day basis.
First and foremost, it’s become front and centre as conversations play out both in the workplace and around the dinner table. People have come to expect more but it’s become more than just a conversation of equality. Equality is no longer enough for employees, and they are now looking for true equity giving that additional support, that foot up if you like for those in the minority.
Unlike equality, which focuses on providing equal resources regardless of context, equity focuses on the process of just and fair consideration because of someone's experience or specific social position. Equality is treating everyone the same, whereas equity is about achieving the same benefits, even if it means that everyone receives different, though still just and fair, treatment. Equity works to eliminate the barriers that limit the potential of diverse participants.
Imagine your business as a nightclub. Addressing diversity means we are asking different people to the party and inclusion means we’re inviting them to the dancefloor but are we still charging a different levels of entrance fee? (less pay, higher standards, lower recognition - all of which has nothing to do with dancing).
As we move forward into the new world, we should be asking: are our strategies and new ways of working open to all? Are we providing the resources and tools needed to offer true equity for each and every employee? And if not, what can we do to achieve it?
We hold a series of HR Retreats in partnership with Forbes Solicitors to offer HR professionals the opportunity to hear from experts in the field and get a better understanding on how to implement key initiatives in their workplace. If you are interested in attending please email Gemma, Head of Four HR on firstname.lastname@example.org.