People of today make conscious decisions- be it life or work. In life, they safeguard their own interests. At work, the “Equal Employment Opportunity” act protects it for them.
With the evolving world, the nature of work-life has changed as well. But there is one major business change that we have seen. That change is known as Equal Employment Opportunity or EEO. This has enabled workplaces to empower the employees and promote a diverse workforce.
EEO has set some golden standards. In return, it significantly improves and enhances organizational performance in the long run. With EEO, skilled people are given equal chances to showcase their talents. Meanwhile, companies benefit from the new ideas and creativity that they bring to the table.
But what is it exactly? This article will discuss the definition and the advantages of practicing EEO.
What is Equal Employment Opportunity?
“All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent.” -John F. Kennedy
Equal employment opportunity refers to the concept of treating all equally in terms of employment. There is no discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity, color, age, disability, or other factors.
To reduce the chances of discrimination, many countries have introduced specific laws. Organizations have to follow these laws and adhere to them strictly.
Some cases of EEO are the Employment Act of 1967 for the US or Articles 15 and 16 for India. Many countries have their own version of EEO. But the aim remains the same. To promote equal opportunities for everyone.
There are federal agencies that ensure the implementation of EEO acts and rules. The work of these agencies is to-
Promote gender equality
Create awareness about LGBTQIA+ rights
Check whether the organizations are following federal laws
Look after any complaint and solve them swiftly
Without EEO, employees and managers are more inclined towards burnout. They feel the risk of missing out on growth opportunities. This hampers their morale and ability to work with efficiency.
Learn More: 5 Solution to Resolve Manager Burnout
5 Advantages of Equal Employment Opportunity
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.” - Nelson Mandela
1. Promotes Diversity
People of various backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, etc., make up an organization's workforce. We call this a diverse workforce. Diversity is strongly linked to the concept of equal opportunity in companies.
This enables individuals to break free from the orthodox thought processes prevailing in the corporate world. It diminishes prejudice and creates a friendly work environment.
With the existence of diversity in the workplace, employees tend to:
In return, it results in a productive and efficient workforce. Thus, improving the company’s bottom line in the long run.
Recommended Resource: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: A Guide
2. Right Developmental Opportunities
Employees seek to develop and learn in their careers. They do not want to stop their growth. As a leader, you need to understand their needs.
One of the best ways to aid progress is by granting equal employment opportunities.
It opens up a path for the employees to learn from a diverse peer group. With EEO, employees can:
3. Good Organizational Reputation
People are always on the lookout for a company with a strong brand reputation. To build that reputation, you need an employee-centric work culture. It helps in establishing a valuable market presence.
A strong reputation is built from the grounds up. In today’s age, a lack of providing equal opportunities can be damaging to your brand. Here’s how EEO can help your company:
The brand reputation must be maintained in the long term. A good reputation will improve your branding and value in the competitive market.
4. Elevated Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is a major concern for companies. But most ideas targeting engagement are outdated and ineffective.
That can limit the progress of your efforts in the long term. Therefore, from time to time, one needs to experiment with new ideas. One such concept is the practice of equal employment opportunity.
When organizations provide equal opportunity for all to work, it facilitates a good work environment. It helps in:
Keep in mind that employees love a diverse work environment. And with the help of EEO, you can build a truly inclusive culture.
5. Provides a Vast Pool of Talents
As a leader, you know there is an ongoing war over talents. And to hire the right people, you must make some significant changes.
You need to be thoughtful and provide equal opportunities to everyone. The hiring needs to be done based on skills and competencies. The bias factor based on discrimination should not exist. It is not a healthy practice.
With EEO, leaders can now do that. They can:
Recommended Article: Diversity Hiring: 7 Effective Ways For Recruiting Diverse Employees
The Need for Equal Employment Opportunity
“We live in a moment when the dream of equal opportunity is within reach.” -Barack Obama
With the rise in globalization and digitization, the need for a capable workforce is critical. Therefore, you need to make sure that your organization excels in every aspect.
And to do that, the need for an equal employment opportunity is vital. When you opt for such practices, it opens up a whole section of skilled people waiting to be hired.
But sometimes, the numbers tell a different story.
- According to a study, 47% of applicants have felt that nationality plays a significant role in the selection process.
- Moreover, the study also found that 52% of the respondents have been discriminated against when it came to political affiliation.
Another survey states that about 3 in 5 older workers have experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
These stats make it even more critical for the organizations to facilitate a system that would encourage EEO. And end discrimination for the greater good of the corporate world.
Summing it Up!
Equal employment is everyone’s right. That is something one cannot take away from people. Organizations need to acknowledge this fact and practice fair opportunities for everyone. Creating awareness is vital, and leaders need to adopt the idea of EEO.
It might take time. But at the end of the day, the focus should be on creating a positive environment for the employees. When an organization successfully creates the desired workplace, it elevates productivity. Moreover, employees become efficient and confident in their work. Also, teams collaborate well to accomplish the long-term goals of the organization.