Equity feels like a buzzword at the moment, most recently it was the theme of International Women’s Day, but what does it really mean? I unpack the concept of racial equity in my book Equality vs Equity. My definition of equity is:
“Understanding and giving those from [underrepresented groups] what they need to achieve equal outcomes. This is achieved by considering systems that disadvantage and seeking to overcome them. To do so we need to take an individual approach, to lead, share power and focus on outcomes.”
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Forward-thinking organizations seek to create equity in the workplace by recruiting, managing and promoting with an appreciation of difference in mind. To do so we need to rebalance the share of power in the workplace and all work together.
To delve into this topic in more depth I share some critical resources for you below:
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1. BOOK: Equality vs Equity by Jenny Garrett
To achieve racial equity in the workplace, we need to “name, frame and explain where it doesn’t exist”. In Equality vs Equity: Tackling Issues of Race in the Workplace, Jenny Garrett OBE helps the reader unpack the concept of racial equity and understand its importance in moving the dial up on inclusion, providing practical tips and language for the reader to act upon.
Equality vs Equity: Tackling Issues of Race in the Workplace is essential reading for those who want to educate themselves and influence others to do the crucial complex work of achieving racial equity in the workplace.
Download the first chapter for free
2. BOOK: The Anti-Racist Organization: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Workplace Hardcover – by Shereen Daniels
In The Anti-Racist Organization: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Workplace, HR strategist Shereen Daniels delivers an incisive and honest discussion of how business leaders can change workplace practices to create a more anti-racist and equitable environment. The author draws on her personal and client-facing experience, historical fact, legal proceedings, HR insights, and quantitative analysis to equip readers with the knowledge and tools they need to transform their companies.
Daniels also looks at:
- The role of executive leaders and how to push past discomfort to credibly and authentically lead change
- Strategies for recognising the problem of systemic racism and implementing impactful solutions
- Why it’s important to empower colleagues to be pioneers of change and how to do that
- Explanations of why diversity and inclusion initiatives haven’t yet solved the problem
- Ways language can either be a weapon to perpetuate systemic racism or a tool to dismantle
An indispensable exploration of how systemic racism is engrained into business structures, policies, and procedures, The Anti-Racist Organization: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Workplace belongs in the libraries of all business leaders seeking to make their workplace more inclusive and equitable.
3. TED TALK: I Want Equity, Not Equality! | Jo Tolley | TEDxYouth@BrayfordPool
Jo’s talk will explore how the notion of disability, equality and diversity isn’t always what it seems. So often, those three words are clubbed together and banded around in a negative and misconceived light. In reality however, their definitions are contrasting. She’ll use her own story and creative thread to portray what ‘being disabled’ means in a society which is, for the most part, uneducated and afraid. Controversially, she’ll also be sharing my thoughts on the ways in which disabled people can unintentionally promote exclusion rather than inclusion. Finally, Jo will illustrate how ‘equity’ has the power to replace ‘equality’ and how this may help us all to accept our true, diverse selves.
4. TED TALK: Janice Omadeke: Mentorship & Workplace Equity Takes Work
How can mentorship in the workplace help to close the job equity gap? Award-winning diversity, inclusion and mentorship expert Janice Omadeke shares her personal mentorship journey along with four helpful takeaways, as she discusses how women and allies can start closing the job equity gap through mentorship. Janice Omadeke | Change Maker & Entrepreneur Janice Omadeke is pushing the ladder down so that the next young tech professional can climb to the top. She has benefited from mentors in her life and career and wants to install a process for more women and minorities to prosper. Omadeke is the Founder and CEO of The Mentor Method, an enterprise platform helping technology companies increase their inclusion and retention of diverse talent. Her company won Capital Factory’s $100K Women in Tech Challenge and has been featured in The Washington Business Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine, among other awards and spotlights. She was selected to attend The White House Summit on Building the Tech Workforce of Tomorrow, and in 2017 was a top 10 finalist in Rent the Runway Foundation’s Project Entrepreneur contest. She earned a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Longwood University.
5. Braver Conversations: Racial Equity in the Workplace | Channdika Thayver | TEDxDelthorneWomen
In her own words, Channdika Thayver is an imperfect Tamil woman who was born in Singapore and whose ancestral roots lie in Tamil Nadu, India. She is currently a settler on the stolen lands of the Kwikwetlem and Katzie Nations in so-called British Columbia, colonial Canada. As a Life & Wellness Coach, Channdika is committed to lifelong learning and unlearning in her efforts to show up as the best Co-Conspirator she can be in the creation of equity for all marginalized peoples. She believes that the creation of this equity can only be birthed through the disruption and dismantling of systemic oppressions, and that this requires deep introspection and active disruption of her respective privileges, daily.
6. Reimagining equity work | Shaundel Spivey | TEDxUWLaCrosse
Shaundel Spivey, executive director of Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge, presented “Reimagining Equity Work” during a TEDxUWLaCrosse presentation April 19 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The theme of the event was Renewal. Spivey says you can’t do true authentic equity work without doing work on you first. As we strive to build an equitable and loving community, we have to imagine the work differently. To do this we must truly examine ourselves and the roles we all play in the perpetuation of this inequitable community we live in. Shaundel will provide the audience a visible reminder of how to build an equitable community. Spivey has a strong reputation for promoting diversity and social justice in the Coulee Region of Western Wisconsin. In 2016, he founded a nonprofit — Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge — which empowers La Crosse’s Black community by focusing on seven pillars: community engagement, financial literacy, youth engagement, family, spirituality, health and wellness, and directed the difficult transition from high school to college for underprivileged students. He received La Crosse’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, was elected to the La Crosse Board of Education in 2020 and invited to join the WI Governor Tony Evers’ newly formed Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion providing strategic guidance to the governor, lieutenant governor and Department of Administration secretary to develop a sustainable framework to promote and advance diversity, equity and inclusion practices across Wisconsin state government.
7. PODCAST: The Shift: Finding Equity at Work
The Shift: Finding Equity at Work is a brand new podcast presented by Syndio and co-hosted by Maria Colacurcio and Sean Mendy (Concrete Rose Capital). In it, we explore new realities happening across America’s workplace and how industry leaders are rising to the challenge of building an equitable workplace to unlock opportunities for all their employees. Episode recordings typically take 30 mins.
8. PODCAST: DiverCity™
DiverCity™ Podcast is a series of podcasts designed to explore the field of diversity and inclusion in financial services.
In each episode we invite guests with a range of corporate, commercial and personal experiences to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and offer practical insights designed to encourage and inspire others to drive even greater change in this field. We examine areas where we have seen effective change, as well as areas where further focus is required. The podcast spans banking, finance, capital markets, entrepreneurship, investment, technology, human resources and government policy.
Julia Streets is the host and executive producer. In addition to her day job as founder & CEO of Streets Consulting, the business development, marketing and communications consultancy, Julia is also a stand up comedian, auctioneer and writer. She brings this to you with Cynthia Akinsanya and Amanda Orchard who have been tirelessly researching, booking, marketing and promoting the podcasts and now produced by Roshan Roberts. You can find more information on each team member below.
9. Articles: Eight tips for supporting your team members from diverse ethnic backgrounds
10. Article: 8 warning signs your diversity and inclusion policy is failing the global majority
11. Article: Eight ways to establish racial equity and avoid missing DE&I targets
12. Article: Gender Equality Vs. Equity – What’s the Difference?
13. Article: The Power of Diversity: Why equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have
14. Article: Removing diversity blind spots
15. PDF: How to improve workplace equity pdf
This guide is part of a suite of new employment equity tools launched by the Government of Canada to support employers in addressing representation and pay gaps. This guide suggests evidence-based actions to help employers work together to improve workplace equity, with respect to members of designated groups under the Employment Equity Act 1 – women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities
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