9 Ways To Promote Workplace Equity Alongside Diversity and Inclusion
Workplace Equity is all about making the employees feel empowered and level the playing field for every employee. When organization promote equality in the workplace they benefit from the competitive advantage of employing diverse talent.
Equity in a workplace refers to fair treatment for all. Transparency is evident to cause and effect where everyone expects the same in terms of consequences and rewards. When there is equity, there is equal opportunity. When you give importance to equity, it creates a positive work environment for both the employees and employer.
Organizations must have a forward-thinking ideology and set their aim towards fostering an equitable future for their employees. We did a brief study of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), looked at the distinction between equity and equality, and also mentioned seven great tips to promote equity in the workplace.
Let’s take a look at them in detail:
What is the meaning of equality in the workplace?
Equality in the workplace gives the individual the right to be different. You must treat every employee with equal respect and dignity irrespective of gender, race, religion, ethnic background, sexuality, or disability.
In any workplace, equality refers to equal rights to every opportunity and exemption from any sort of discrimination. People must not show unfairness or prejudice towards peers with different identities, especially race, gender, and age.
Many countries have implemented laws to drive workplace equality. For example, the United States has the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It has laws to protect job applicants and employees from any kind of discrimination. Such laws make it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, etc.
What’s the Difference Between Equity and Equality?
Equality provides equal opportunities for everyone, whereas workplace equity refers to a proportional representation for the same opportunities. In simple words, equity levels the playing field.
What is its relevance in a workplace? Take inclusion, for example. When you implement workplace inclusion, new measures are implemented to make every diverse employee feel seen and valued.
What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
The three essential terms- diversity, equity, and inclusion, commonly known as (DEI)- is an umbrella term used to denote programs, policies, strategies, and practices a company uses to create an equitable workplace and implement diversity and inclusion programs.
Promoting equity and inclusion as a part of your company culture is imperative for your company’s success in diversity. It also creates an equitable workplace, resulting in a positive employee experience.
Judith Williams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at SAP says-
You can’t have true inclusion without diversity. If everyone has the same background, expectations, and experiences, inclusion is effortless. You don’t have to think about what it will take for people with different backgrounds and experiences to excel.
When there is equity in a workplace, you achieve a mix of gender, generation, and an amalgamation of cultural background. When you accomplish this, you automatically tend to ask: ‘Are we inclusive?’, ‘Are we being equitable?’, ‘Do we see equal participation and contribution from our employees?’
How to Promote Equity in the Workplace?
Implementing equity in the workplace looks similar for almost every organization, i.e., equal opportunities and fair treatment for every employee. Yet, under the surface, there are nuances specific to each organization. These nuances decide the success of your implementation of workplace equity.
Here are nine ways to foster equity in the workplace:
1. DEI research is important
The first step is to have adequate information. Know the history, background, and context. Companies must educate themselves on the industry research of past and present companies, scienitific findings and sociological studies.
There are plenty of anti-racism resources available both online and offline you can take help from. Do your research, and you will get one step closer to workplace equity.
2. Look into your data
In the second step, you must understand where you stand in terms of metrics. You must collect your workers’ relevant data and analyze them to assess your company’s demographics, including your leadership team.
Once you collect the required data, you need to set the benchmark and metrics for the DEI goals you aim to achieve. The metrics include:
- Recruitment data
- Training data
- Advancement data
- Employee exit feedbacks
- Employee engagement survey
3. Set your targets and show accountability
As an organization, you must set measurable targets right from the start of the hiring process. You must show transparency in your hiring process, from job requirements to pay equity. By doing so, you will successfully attract a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.
You can take inspiration from brands like Adidas, which hire people from the underrepresented groups of the society to make a public commitment.
An organization shows accountability in the DEI process by combining measurable outcomes to compensation, mostly for the leadership posts and the overall bonus pool.
4. Keep a check on your hiring practices
Take a look at the talent options and the strategies your talent acquisition team uses to attract new workers. Plan your strategy where you’re posting your job ads. Take a step beyond the homogenous platforms to attract a diverse pool of talent. Use both online and offline options to attract people from every corner of society.
When it comes to hiring, DEI is a significant competitive advantage for organizations as it helps to improve the company culture providing equal opportunities for all. When you recruit diverse candidates, you create an inclusive and equal work environment, leading to employee retention.
5. Hire for culture contribution
In tech, we often hire for culture fit. Instead, we should hire for culture contribution. We need to think differently and ask ourselves: ‘What does this new hire bring to my team that I don’t already have; what skills, background, and perspectives?’- Judith Williams
A conventional idea of hiring is to select people who fit the culture, but modern and diverse companies hire people for cultural contribution. You must hire employees who match your company values and bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds to team discussions.
You must hire the best candidate for your team, not the one who merely fits the role. Do not just look at somone’s experience or education while hiring. An experienced employee might have skills but not the right attitude. So you need to be careful while choosing employees and you must show no kind of biases.
6. Extend onboarding programs
As a leader or an HR manager, consider extending employee onboarding beyond a week. Think of building an onboarding program that provides continuous support for at least six months or even a year. By doing so, you’ll ensure your new employees are set to achieve their goals and success.
If you have workers from the underrepresented groups of the society, you must give them a mentor for learning and development. Make this a part of your onboarding. Later keep a check on regular intervals if the support is useful and the mentor-mentee relationship is working fine to achieve the desired company goals.
7. Align ERGs with executive sponsors
Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, are employee identity groups that help in community building. They are also known as diversity groups that create an open forum for employees with a common identity to support one another in building a community and safe space.
So, you must align your ERGs with executive leadership sponsors to enhance your DEI in the workplace. Sponsorship from an executive team shows that the organization stands with the ERGs and offers their support. They give guidance, budget, mentoring, visibility, and networking to the ERGs to create a community space.
8. Say No to Discrimination in the Workplace
The human resources department in your company must treat everyone equally right from the hiring to the exit interview stage. No worker must face discrimination in the workplace because of their race, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc.
To make your workplace equal and fair, you must say no to discrimination against every employee, whether privileged or underrepresented.
9. Promote Gender Equality
Gender inequality in the workplace is a reality, and you must leave no stone unturned to address such issues at work. As a leader, promoting gender equality in the workplace is sign of promoting workplace equity.
To welcome a diverse team at work, you must have an equal representation of workers across various gender identities. Also, you must treat every worker, whether women or men, with equal respect, dignity, and opportunities.
These were the 9 ways to foster workplace equity in the workplace. Do let us know what you feel in the comments section below!
The bottom line is merely saying that your company follows diversity and inclusion is never enough. Alongside, you must also practice and promote workplace equity to achieve greater organizational success.