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May 6th, 2021 · 5 min read

7 exceptional examples of equity in the workplace

Written by: Izabelle Hundrev

equity in the workplace header image

What is equity in the workplace?

Equity vs equality in the workplace

example of equity vs equality

How do you show equity in the workplace?

How to implement equity in the workplace

  • Prioritize wage equity
    Discussion of wages has been made taboo in the past, however, this allows bias in the form of wage disparities to slip through the cracks. Having transparency around wages and openly discussing correlations between employee performance, position and rate of pay are essential to ensuring fair compensation.
  • Ensure diverse cross-level representation
    Many organizations hire for diversity but fail to provide equitable opportunities for advancement to their diverse hires. When this happens, what we see is high diversity in low-paying and low-authority jobs, and over (or exclusive) representation of one demographic in leadership and management. Your company should empower diverse employees by giving equitable promotions and upholding diverse representation in executive positions.
  • Invest in workforce education
    Systemic barriers prevent especially Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), as well as disabled individuals from accessing education. This lack of access creates an enormous diversity deficit in many workplaces. By investing in a workforce education program, you’re providing your marginalized employees with a potentially life-changing resource that enables them to advance their careers and grow with your company. Fair education is the key to an equitable future in the workplace.

Examples of equity in the workplace

  • Make job descriptions accessible
    This means having transparency around the wage range for different positions, as well as providing a variety of avenues through which talent may access application materials (including non-web-based channels).
  • Shift to skills-based hiring
    Not everyone has access to higher education and this shouldn’t bar them from opportunities for work if they have the skills necessary to do the job. This is the gist of skills-based hiring. Instead of focusing on specific degree requirements in your hiring process, emphasize skills and previous work experience. Then, leverage your existing L&D resources to upskill and reskill these individuals for continuous career advancement.
  • Provide inclusive incentives
    Event-based incentives that center around alcohol or formal dress codes have the potential to alienate some employees. Financial or recognition-based incentives are a better way to reward top-performing team members and avoid exclusion.
  • Provide equitable access for all employees
    This not only means access to resources and opportunities but also physical spaces and materials. It is important to consider whether your meeting room is wheelchair-friendly, whether you have accurate closed captions on a video presentation, and whether your office space has adequate accommodations for employees with sensory sensitivities.
  • Empower your employees
    Even if you have all the best resources in place, it’s up to your employees to take advantage of them. For you, this means making sure your employees know about the resources, know how to access them and feel comfortable and safe doing so.
  • Ensure equitable benefits
    Spousal health insurance should be available to same-sex couples and non-traditional families as well as straight couples. Additionally, parental leave should extend to fathers and mothers equally.
  • Re-evaluate your equity practices
    Everyone makes mistakes and as we continue to take action against a problematic status quo it can be difficult to know what’s right. Organizations should continue to analyze and update their equity practices as new information is given.

Measuring equity in the workplace

  • Do you believe you are treated fairly at work?
  • Do you believe that your organization's promotion practices are fair?
  • Do you believe that your compensation and benefits package is fair for your skills, level of experience and job responsibilities?

The path forward for equity at work

You can address talent development challenges