Difference Between Equality And Equity

Difference Between Equality And Equity

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on May 3, 2024 18:08 IST

By promoting equality and equity in the workplace, organisations can create a more inclusive and supportive environment where all employees can thrive, leading to employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall business success. Learn about the crucial difference between equality and equity in the workplace. Discover how organizations can promote both principles to enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall organizational success.

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Organizational culture refers to a system of shared values, assumptions, and beliefs that define appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. These values strongly influence the behaviour of employees and the organization's performance. When it comes to workplace Equity and Equality, these terms have much in common and represent a fundamental part of diversity and inclusion initiatives that seek to create productive, diverse, innovative, and competitive workplaces. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between equality and equity.

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Tabular Comparison – Equality vs Equity

The main difference between equality and equity is that equality means everyone is given the same resources or opportunities, while equity suggests that everyone has different needs and circumstances and should be treated accordingly to reach an equal outcome.  

  Equality Equity
Concept Treating everyone equally.  Recognizing and addressing individual needs and circumstances.
Focus Equal treatment and opportunities for all. Fairness and justice by providing what individuals need to succeed.
Approach Uniform policies and rules applied to all  Tailored support and accommodations based on individual circumstances 
Goal Equal outcomes, regardless of differences  Equal opportunities, taking into account diverse backgrounds and identities
Emphasis Uniformity and sameness  Fairness and inclusivity 

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So, What is Equality?

Equality is an important management principle that refers to a state where everyone is treated equally and has equal access to opportunities, resources, and benefits. It does not depend on their individual circumstances, needs, position, status, or background. In an equal workplace, all employees are subject to the same policies, rules, and expectations without differentiation. Equality focuses on offering equal treatment and opportunities without considering individual needs or differences.

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What is Equity?

Equity is related to offering extra support to those workers who need it to create a fair workplace. It refers to acknowledging and addressing the diverse needs and circumstances of individuals. It recognizes that not everyone’s circumstances are easy and ensures that all employees have access to the same opportunities and outcomes, considering their varying backgrounds, experiences, and identities. The focus is on providing individuals with what they need to succeed, even if it means providing different levels of support or accommodations to different individuals.

An example could be being granted extra time to complete a task or reducing an employee’s workload with lower productivity due to personal circumstances or problems at home. 

How to create equity in the workplace?

There are many ways to create equity in the workplace. Some examples include:

  • Providing unconscious bias training to all employees so that employees be more aware of their biases and how they might impact their interactions with others.
  • Creating policies and procedures that are fair and equitable for all employees, including hiring, promotion, and compensation policies.
  • Providing resources and support like mentorship programs, networking opportunities, flexibility to work from home, etc. 
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Comparing Equality and Equity 

“Equality” and “equity” may sound contradictory. The first aims to ensure everyone has equal opportunities. However, equity breaks with this motto by providing extra support to those who need it. 

The two terms are related and must be used to ensure a fair and diverse workplace. Equality should bring all employees closer to a basic standard supported by the company. Equity can then provide additional support to those in need, which requires good judgment and execution by leadership teams.

Finding the right balance at work regarding equality and fairness is important. Similarly, special care must be taken when training staff on equity. If an employee receives too much or insufficient support, it could be seen as unfair, leading to inequalities in the team. 

Conclusion

Workplace equality focuses on treating everyone equally, while workplace equity recognizes and addresses individuals’ unique needs and circumstances to achieve fairness and justice. Workplace equity aims to create an inclusive environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, taking into account their diverse backgrounds and identities.

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FAQs

Why is it important to understand the difference between equality and equity?

Understanding equality and equity is important because it can help create a more just and equitable workplace. Equality is a good goal, but it is not enough. We also need to strive for equity, ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to succeed.

Why is it important to have equity in the workplace?

Equity is important in the workplace because it creates a level playing field for everyone. When everyone has the same opportunities, it leads to a more productive and successful workplace.

Can you provide an example of the difference between equality and equity at work?

Let's say two employees have different physical abilities. Equality would mean providing both with the same desk and chair, while equity would mean providing appropriate accommodations, such as an adjustable desk or ergonomic chair, based on individual needs.

What role do leaders play in promoting equality and equity at work?

Leaders play a crucial role in promoting equality and equity by setting the tone, establishing inclusive policies, modeling inclusive behaviors, and actively championing diversity and fairness in all aspects of the workplace.

Can equality lead to equity in the workplace?

While equality is an important foundation, it does not always guarantee equity. Some individuals may require additional support or accommodations to achieve true fairness, which is where equity comes into play.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio