DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives are growing quickly in organizations around the world. Leaders and entire departments dedicated to DEI – or EDIB (equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging) – are being installed in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. These teams are committed to deeply embedding DEI principles into the values and actions of the business so that it can be more accessible, welcoming, and empowering.
Here we’ll discuss the “E” in DEI. Compared to diversity and inclusion, the words equity and equality (with which equity is sometimes substituted) are ambiguous terms that can be defined very differently from organization to organization.
According to Robert Harris, Director of EDIB at National Audubon Society, it's "not advisable to use equity and equality interchangeably."
"In general," he says, "equality is when folks receive the same resources in amount and proportion and equity is when differences are recognized. Resource allocation varies based on those differences to achieve equality."
How you implement your DEI initiatives will depend on how these terms are defined. Your definition of these terms will also influence your culture deck, hiring process, team charter, operating agreements, mission statement, media/investor relations, etc. Making sure that they are clear and meaningful for everyone on the team is very important.
Equity may be defined in the following ways:
To review, diversity means that you have various people in the room, equity means that there is awareness that they are not all on equal footing, and inclusion means that you have a process for engaging them. Equality is the outcome of people being equally resourced.
If you’d like to have a conversation about team performance, team design, or team development, please schedule a discovery call today.
ABOUT THE Author
Joran Slane Oppelt is an international speaker, author and consultant with certifications in coaching, storytelling, design thinking and virtual facilitation.