3 MIN READ
IWD 2023: EMBRACING EQUITY
Here are some ways we can all embrace equity in the workplace:
- Prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
- Create a culture of belonging
- Offer flexible work
- Address unconscious bias
- Have an Employee Resource Group
- Measure and monitor progress
But as employers and leaders, we still have the opportunity and responsibility to shape the world inside our companies. Embracing equity to create a diverse, inclusive, and thriving workplace rejects the ‘life isn’t fair’ mentality and creates an environment that positions you as an employer of choice.
What is equity?
Equity allows everyone to succeed – irrespective of background, identity, or circumstances.
To embrace equity in your business – you must start by acknowledging and challenging the systemic and individual barriers that stop groups from accessing opportunities and resources.
For Adidas, that meant investment in three different leadership groups, as well as development programs at all levels. From their Apprenticeship and Dual Study Program to Executive Development Experience with Harvard Business School – there is a tailored program at every stage to guarantee that their team has the opportunity to progress through the ranks.
Giants like Google decided ‘addressing barriers for everyone means taking targeted action’. They started with a commitment to racial equity, disability inclusion, gender equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion and veteran inclusion – ensuring pay equity for all women employees globally since 2017, improving leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30% in 2021 and ‘on track to double the number of Black Googlers at all other levels by 2025.’
If you aren’t a FTSE company with seemingly infinite resources like Adidas or Google, starting small and showing employees that you’re ready to listen, learn and support each other is a good place to start.
Here are a few ways we can embrace equity at work:
Prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
Start with a plan. Develop a comprehensive plan that includes training, policies, and programs to promote equity and inclusion at all levels. Be sure to include specific goals, metrics, and accountability measures to track your progress and share with your team.
Top of list for employees:
- Pay equity
- Flexible work arrangements
- Professional development
- Inclusive culture
Create a culture of belonging
Establishing an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included needs a concerted effort from leaders, managers, and employees to build trust, communicate effectively and support each other. Help your team achieve this with training and resources that promote empathy, cultural awareness and understanding.
Start by thinking about:
- Promoting job opportunities to all qualified candidates, regardless of their background
- Providing a training and professional development budget at all levels
- Fair and transparent performance evaluations that are based on objective criteria
- Mentorship and sponsorship opportunities to help underrepresented employees progress
Offer flexible work
By nature, an equitable environment must include some form of flexibility. And supporting the diverse needs of your employees with remote or hybrid working, part-time hours or alternative work schedules can be just as beneficial to you. These options will not only support employees trying to balance work and personal responsibilities, they will also help you attract a more diverse talent pool and keep valuable talent.
ADDRESS UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
Provide training and tools to help employees recognise and mitigate their biases. Follow through by ensuring you have:
- Diverse hiring panels
- Unbiased job descriptions and qualifications
- Objective criteria for promotion and advancement
Have an Employee Resource Group
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are employee-led groups that offer support, education, and advocacy for underrepresented groups. ERGs can be a valuable resource for businesses to promote equity by providing a platform for employees to share their experiences, build networks and advocate for change.
MEASURE AND MONITOR PROGRESS
To make sure equity initiatives are working, businesses should monitor their progress. Carefully and respectfully collecting data on employee demographics, satisfaction and engagement will help you identify areas where you’ve made progress and where you still want to see improvements. Sharing these stats with the team will help keep them informed and accountable.
The Skin Tight Denholms aspire every day to create a culture of diversity, equity and inclusivity. We know this will enable us to attract and retain diverse talent, encourage the free conversation of ideas, and enhance our relationships with clients and candidates.
It is our collective responsibility to challenge our views and ensure diversity is central to any recruitment we do for ourselves and for you.
To find out more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion please click here.