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Equity as a Means to Equality and Inclusion

Equity as a Means to Equality and Inclusion

How does Equity Manifest in the Workplace

In our last post on equity and equality, we discussed that, while they are often used interchangeably, they mean quite different things. In this post, we’ll discover that while workplace equity has most often been associated with equal hiring practices and compensation in HR, it goes well beyond that in most modern organizations.  

Equality and an inclusive workforce are the end goals, and equity is the means actually to get there. 

For example, here are some examples of equity supporting equality and an inclusive workforce in the modern workplace, where they’ve traditionally been held largely under the HR purview:  

Modern Hiring Practices

Equality: The same interview questions are used for all job applicants for a specific job opening. 
Equity:  Hiring practices include outreach to underrepresented groups while considering job applicants’ different backgrounds and experiences. 

Modern Training and Development

Equality: All employees are offered the same training and professional development opportunities.
Equity: Training and professional development opportunities consider individual employees’ different skills and career goals, such as coaching and mentorship. 

Equality is tremendously important in promoting fairness and equal treatment, while equity recognizes that not all employees have the same needs and experiences; and aims to address inequalities that may prevent equal access to the same opportunities and outcomes as others. 

The Impact of Equity and Equality for Modern Leaders

For any modern leadership team, the notions of equity and equality reveal important differences in how leaders approach fairness and justice for all employees. Inclusive and effective leaders need to be aware of the differences between equity and equality and adopt strategies to promote a healthy workplace culture for all employees. 

Leadership Style

Equality: Leaders provide all employees equal access to job openings, promotions, training, development, equal work opportunities and equal pay for equal work. 
Equity: Leaders recognize and address organizational barriers and structures that don’t provide equal access and that may prevent certain groups from having the same opportunities and outcomes as others. 


Equality: Leaders make informed decisions based on objective criteria and avoid making subjective judgments.
Equity: Leaders lead with inclusion while understanding individual employees’ unique needs and circumstances, such as historical disadvantages and social barriers. 


Equality: Leaders communicate and engage all employees in a consistent and fair manner while managing and avoiding bias.
Equity: Leaders listen and provide highly personalized feedback and support to employees based on individual needs and circumstances. 

Talent Development

Equality: Leaders provide the same opportunities for training and development for all employees, regardless of each employee’s background or personal characteristics.
Equity: Leaders identify and address barriers or challenges that may prevent certain employees from advancing in their careers while ensuring everyone has an equal chance to succeed. 

Why are Equity and Equality Important to Diversity?

Equity and equality are important to diversity because they promote workplace fairness, justice, and inclusion. In a truly modern, diverse workplace, diversity is understanding every individual is unique while recognizing differences are deeply rooted in our internal, external, organizational, and world views. Equity and equality ensure that all individuals are valued and treated fairly, regardless of their background or personal characteristics. 

Diversity in the workplace: 

  • Promotes a Speak Up! and Listen Up! culture of compliance and empowerment at the same time.
  • Creates a more inclusive workplace by ensuring all individuals have equal opportunity and access to contribute and succeed fully. 
  • It Fosters innovation and creativity when different people with different backgrounds all work toward the same goal positively and together.
  • More actively addresses bias and discrimination at the moment, preventing issues from festering and barriers to efficiency and effectiveness. 
  • Optimizes talent across the organization, supporting succession planning and growth at the same time. 

Syntrio’s Training Supports Equality and Equity in the Workplace

Syntrio’s Seven Learning Libraries are designed specifically to support leaders in any organization looking to improve their teams’ understanding of equity and equality in the workplace and how they differ. Thousands of organizations across the globe trust Syntrio to support their workplace compliance and cultures with modern training courses.  

Our DEI team cares passionately about supporting how organizations understand bias and move into a more inclusive position for all their workforce needs.

It matters.

Tammy is a thought leader with a pioneering record of global workforce management experience. She has worked across diverse industries and specializes in developing large-scale human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion program strategies while helping organizations create inclusive cultures that leverage all talent for a competitive advantage. Tammy has held very focused senior leadership roles while serving as a trusted advisor, coach, and facilitator.

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