Equity vs. Equality – Equality is Not Enough

Tulsa Financial Reporting Services


As we roll into the new year, I challenge you to focus on equity vs equality in the organization. Equality is a great step, but let’s take it further.

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Most are familiar with the photo above in which three individuals have a box to stand upon as they enjoy a game, but is it necessary that we give each the “same” box– equality?

Couldn’t the taller person still see the game without the box; and the shorter person still can’t see with the box provided?

Although the intention of provided resources equally was important, in reality, only one saw the benefit.

How does this relate to your organization?

What’s the difference?

Equality defined is treating everyone the same, but it is simply not enough.

Yes, granting employees with equal access to resources is important, but this strategy will work only if all team members are the same and need the same level of help.

With today’s diverse workplace, this is highly unlikely. Therefore, organizations must take this strategy a step further and focus on equity – giving individual employees what “they” need to be successful.

Although these words are often used interchangeably, equality does not equal equity.

Referencing the picture above, giving all three individuals the same box does not solve the problem.

Therefore, in your organization if giving resources to your team equally does not solve the problem, give resources based upon need.

The ultimate goal is to provide resources to your team members that will allow them to reach the intended goals and meet results.

With equality we assume that by treating everyone equally and providing equal access, everyone can succeed and become successful.

However, it is only by giving everyone the “access” that “they” need can we ensure there is true equity amongst our team.

Therefore, allowing for both greater productivity and profits for your business!


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