A company with fair labor practices can flourish and have employees that are more satisfied with their jobs. This is why equity in the workplace is an important aspect of a business organization. It leads to better productivity resulting in a more profitable business. How does being fair and impartial translate to an improved workplace? Let’s examine the opportunities.
What Is Equity in the Workplace?
Equity in the workplace is making sure that employees experience fairness and are given equal opportunities within the company. Employees are treated equally and are afforded justice regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
At times, a company may unknowingly provide favoritism towards a certain gender, race, age, and other demographic characteristics of an employee. This problem known as systematic inequality, prevents diverse employees from getting economic opportunities. Equity seeks to address this by ensuring that workers get the same treatment and fair opportunities.
Workplace organizations can look at various metrics to assess whether employees are treated equally. This includes wages, leadership positions, and representation. Each metric shows whether or not individuals within an organization have access to equal opportunities regardless of their background.
How Do You Practice Fairness and Equity in the Workplace?
1. Examine the Wage Equality
Although there has already been progress in terms of wage equality, having different salary ranges still happens in some companies. This can be observed in how women earned around 82% of what men earned in 2022. Take a look at the wage gap between men and women workers in your organization.
In the trade sector, pay equity is more reinforced. NECA sets a union policy where an electrician will retain the same salary they’re receiving when they move to another contractor. It will be the same wage amount unless it’s a different job position. Equity goes beyond gender, race, or other background. It’s about providing the same financial capacity for people working in the same roles.
2. Conduct an Engagement Survey
Feedback from employees is also one way to determine whether or not you’re having an equitable workplace. This will allow you to pinpoint any unfair workplace practices that may be rampant in your organization. Did you know that employees who feel they have the same advancement opportunities as their colleagues are 43% less likely to feel burned out? Equity is an important factor to retain employees. So you need to know how they feel about the equity within your organization.
3. Have an Equitable Representation
What does the workforce and leadership profile in your company look like? Do you lean towards a specific gender, age, or race when it comes to hiring and having people in higher positions? Make a company-wide assessment to compare the demographic data of your employees. You may notice a trend that you need to take action for an equitable workplace.
4. Consider the Employee’s Disabilities
Individuals who have health conditions or disabilities are also now participating in the workplace with a 38% increase in labor force participation. Flexible working arrangements like remote work made it possible for disabled individuals to land a job. Check if your company is welcoming to people with disabilities or health conditions who may be able to still work despite their circumstances. Being an equitable organization means understanding the capabilities of individuals despite having health conditions or disabilities.
5. Set Equity Goals
Once you establish where in your workplace you currently have inequality, you can then proceed to set equity goals. Commit to actionable items, like promoting more people from a certain gender or group. See where you can adjust and divert opportunities for minority workers who possess skills that can allow them to move up in the organization. This may even lead to increased productivity – workers in a more equitable environment perform 26% higher than companies with unfair labor practices.
6. Update the Hiring and Onboarding Process
Right from the hiring and onboarding procedure, you can already assess how equitable your company is. For example, do you strictly look for degrees instead of skills? This may be something you can change. Individuals who don’t have a degree may equally be as skilled and talented as those who have finished formal schooling. Become an equal-opportunity employer by considering every applicant. Assess them based on what they can contribute to your company instead of strictly looking at traditional educational qualifications.
The Impact of Equity on a Business
An equitable work environment brings positive changes to a company. By providing equal opportunities, you have the benefit of having diverse perspectives and talents from employees. Workers will feel that they can succeed, thrive, and contribute to the betterment of your company.
80% of respondents in a CNBC/SurveyMonkey poll stated they are more interested in working for companies that value equity. It becomes easier to attract talent and retain them in an organization.
Employees are then motivated to be at their productive best knowing that they get equal treatment. This results in business organizations having increased innovation, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational success. Equity in the workplace enables high-performing employees to become an asset to the company. They will bring fresh perspectives and creative ideas as they come to work knowing that they have equal opportunities to advance in their careers.