Equality is the end goal – equity is how you get there.
This year’s IWD 2023 theme is #EmbraceEquity. While equity and equality sound similar, they are different concepts, whether in the context of the wider society or in the workplace. Despite being used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings.
The root word they share is “aequus,” which means “even, fair, or equal.”
Equality is about treating everyone the same, while equity acknowledges that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
We all don’t start from the same place, so providing resources to allow us to gain those same opportunities is equity, it is human.
Equity is especially important when it comes to marginalized communities like women, people of color, disabled people, the economically disadvantaged, and LGBTQ+ individuals. They don’t all start out on a level playing field, so equity is about changing the systemic and structural barriers that hold them back.
While equality is a foundation of democracy, ongoing conversations suggest that equity may be a better principle to progress society. Equity-based solutions take into account the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences.
For example, when it comes to women’s advancement, gender equity is needed for meaningful progress. Women are truly diverse, and policies that benefit one group may not benefit another due to historical or current inequalities. Women’s empowerment is crucial for achieving gender equality and creating a more just and equitable society. It involves giving women the tools and resources they need to succeed in all areas of life, including education, employment, and leadership positions. By empowering women, we can break down barriers and create a more inclusive and equal world for everyone.
At Sankey, we have already embarked this journey to embrace equity at workplace through #SheCare initiative that was launched last year, with an objective to drive and coach women propel their careers and create future women leaders organically.
So, on this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the amazing achievements of women, but also remember that there is still much work to be done. Let’s continue to support and uplift women, and work towards a world where every woman can achieve her full potential.