International Women’s Day’s is a day to celebrate women’s many diverse achievements. It’s also a time to acknowledge that women’s equality is not there yet. Collectively, we can all forge positive change.
8th March is International Women’s Day and for the month of March, we’ll be embracing equity. Let’s have a kōrero about what that means, how we can all embrace equity, diversity and inclusion, and accelerate action for women’s equality. To start with we need to acknowledge that we’re not there yet. Whilst the issues are larger than simply in the workplace, research from Lean In shows that bias contributes to women being passed over for jobs and promotions, and almost 60% of women regularly experience microaggressions at work. That’s not good enough. Together we can all make positive change.
It’s on all of us to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. The way forward to accelerate change is for everyone to embrace equity. Equity means creating an inclusive world. Equity is a long-term and sustainable solution and is a process for addressing imbalanced social systems. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.
Equity acknowledges that people don’t begin life in the same place, and that circumstances can make it more difficult for people to achieve the same goals. Sometimes you just need a little more help, or a different type of help than others to end up in the same place.
Equity-based solutions considers the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences. Thinking about people and their situation in a holistic manner, leaving judgement at the door and embracing equity is simply the right thing to do. We can show more empathy, and all learn to practice equity in our workplaces and everyday lives.
We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collectively, we can all forge positive change.
Equity verses equality
Equality approaches giving people the exact same equal opportunity to things. This is great, but it doesn’t acknowledge that people are different and have different needs.
Equity acknowledges that we are wonderfully diverse. People don’t begin life in the same place, and that circumstances can make it more difficult for people to achieve the same goals.
As you can see illustrated in the image below, with equality, everybody is given the opportunity of the exact same bike. However, it’s not appropriate for some people. It’s too big for the little girl, too big for the man and not suitable for the disabled person. With the equality option, many people are simply left behind.
However, with the equity approach, each bike has been modified so everyone gets to ride well. Equity-based solutions consider the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences. When you approach people on a more holistic level and look at their individual needs, then people can truly thrive, and opportunities can be truly realised.
Learn more here by watching some great videos that discuss the differences here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/18707/Equality-versus-Equity-What-s-the-difference-as-we-EmbraceEquity-for-IWD-2023-and-beyond
Over the coming month check back here to learn more about equity and what actions we can take to build a more equitable world.