Equality vs equity: what’s the difference?

Heart of the City | 30 May 2022 | News
Equality vs equity: what’s the difference?

Do you understand the difference between equality at work and equity at work? We asked our Foundations for Responsible Business Programme Manager, Kate Finnis, to explain:

“In the world of responsible business things move – fast! Best practice yesterday is quickly overtaken with better initiatives and understanding. We’re constantly having conversations to push boundaries and educate each other on so many topics in these fields, so it can be tricky to keep up to speed with ideologies and terminology.

Last week someone I was working with asked me if we should be looking at equality or equity, I asked them if they knew the difference, and they weren’t too sure. So for anyone who’s keen to make sure they can explain the difference, here goes…

Equality is giving the same opportunities, support and resources to everyone. Equity is recognising that a person’s circumstances or barriers mean employers should be offering specific support and resources.

Equality provides equal input. Equity works for equal outcomes.

Think of plants: all need similar things to thrive, but at different amounts. Cacti only need to be watered occasionally where as lily of the valley crave continual watering. Both need sunlight, but in differing amounts. If we treated them with equal input, neither would thrive.”

Find more resources on diversity, equity and inclusion on our resource hub.

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