Achieving Equality in the workplace is already a familiar concept in today’s forward-thinking companies. Employers are strategizing ways to foster a culture of belonging among their employees and adding workplace equality to their leadership toolkits.
By embracing diverse talent and valuing each team member, companies can utilize the differences to better achieve their objectives and goals and contribute to innovation, creativity, and growth.
Research reveals that diverse and inclusive teams are not only creative but are more engaged and innovative. A highly diverse team outperforms less diverse teams by 35% in profitability, and 70% of the diverse companies are able to capture new markets.
Know that a workplace culture encompasses policies, systems, and communication. When you incorporate a culture of Equality, you need to address various aspects of the working system. You must listen to employees, treat all fairly, and prioritize equitable representation.
If you are striving to find the best way to achieve a fair and equal workplace, understand what exactly Equality is. And how do we practice it in the workplace? Follow along to know everything from scratch.
What Is Meant Of Achieving Equality In The Workplace?
Workplace equality refers to an environment where all employees have access to equal opportunities. It is a process that aims to ensure all employees have an equal chance to excel, develop their skills, and progress in their careers, regardless of their ethnic background, country of origin, physical or mental ability, or gender or sexual orientation.
It is a concept of providing equal job opportunities and fair treatment to employees and job applicants.
Working towards Equality means ensuring an inclusive and safe work environment, providing equal resources and equal pay, and above all – accepting and celebrating everyone for their differences.
Examples Of Equality In The Workplace
The modern workforce expects businesses to provide a healthy working environment that serves everyone equally. It becomes an important part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to ensure diversity and Equality for all.
Here are a few examples of companies following the equality standards
- Men or females get the same jobs with similar pay and promotional opportunities.
- People with physical disabilities are doing the same roles as those without disabilities.
- Pregnancy leaves, in-house child-care facilities, and religion-specific holidays are great examples of acceptance of all people.
The Importance Of Achieving Workplace Equality
Social exclusions faced by people from marginalized backgrounds have prompted the term “equality” to be at the forefront of conversations around diversity and inclusion.
Non-discrimination and Equality at the workplace are basic workforce principles laid in the Manpower Act, Law No. 13, 2003. This aims to endorse the principles of human dignity and economic justice. In the business setup, the principles are accepted as a universal standard for achieving market efficiency and sustainable economic development.
Achieving workplace equality is important, not because it is morally right but because it is associated with company growth, productivity, and high reputation.
Being an equal-opportunity employer makes good business sense. Allowing flexible working schedules for individuals under the circumstances, eliminating promotional barriers for people with different needs, and embracing viewpoints and ideas from a diverse workforce can contribute to long-term company benefits.
When you encourage fairness and Equality in the workplace, you limit the chance of conflicts and ensure an environment that encourages productivity and better growth opportunities.
When organization respect and value their employees, they take their responsibility seriously, become helping hands to others, reach out for ideas, and ultimately produce better work. All these aspects will help revitalize workplace culture and make your organization a fulfilling workplace.
Unequal working environments are:
- A key contributor to toxic work cultures.
- Leading to increased absenteeism.
- Decreased productivity.
- Higher employee turnover.
Measuring Equality In The Workplace
There is no clear-cut method to measure Equality in your workplace; therefore, it becomes quite challenging to know the impact of your efforts. To measure Equality in the workplace, ask yourself a few important questions that provide an overview of the system.
- Does your company follow an equality policy?
- Have you conducted a peer review across your organization to ensure there is fair treatment for all, regardless of their disability, gender, ethnicity, and cultural background?
- Does everybody get the same development opportunities?
- Do they have access to the same training?
- What are the promotions opportunities available to everybody?
Besides these, you can take employee satisfaction surveys to know you are playing safe within the organization. Here are examples of the questions you can add to your survey.
- Do you believe you are treated fairly at work?
- Does the company offer equal opportunities to all employees?
The Benefits Of Achieving Equality In The Workplace
Allowing fairness, Equality, diversity, and respect for all workers can improve employee engagement, boost productivity, foster creative environments, expand team horizons, and bring diverse perspectives.
Supporting workplace equality can be a significant sign to customers, businesses, and employees. By showing that your business accepts all differences, you make them feel more trusted and valuable.
Once you have built an image of a company having an open, indiscriminative, and globally accepted firm, you bring the best pool of talent to your selection team.
An inclusive, equal, and diverse culture helps to promote your business, boost morale, increase company reputation, and open up ways to different opportunities and perspectives in the future.
A 2020 survey reported that 70% of job seekers want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and Equality. In other words, your company’s ability to attract the best talent also on your diversity policies.
When you allow workers from different backgrounds, you encourage them to bring different perspectives to the table, stimulate new product ideas, promote intra-companies and inter-companies networking, build cohesive teams, and encourage innovation and creativity in problem-solving.
Moreover, Equality and diversity in the workforce foster individual contribution and responsibility, thus giving your company a competitive advantage, improving your market share, and fueling business growth.
Effective Ways To Achieve Equality In The Workplace
Enterprises and organizations need to take a planned and systematic approach to achieve Equality in the workplace. While it holds significant importance, an organization interested in implementing human rights and Equality in their workplace may find the following points helpful
1. Eliminate All Kinds Of Discrimination
The first step to achieving Equality is addressing discrimination. A workplace can’t achieve Equality if any discrimination prevails. There are several kinds of discrimination based on traits like gender, ethnicity, age, ability, sexuality, and religious beliefs. Despite the illegality of discrimination in many places, it still happens.
Never opt for a policy or process that keeps people in the box or categorizes them into specific traits. Treating everyone as equal- providing access to opportunities and resources will have a good outcome in terms of performance.
2. Watch Out For Your Hiring Process.
To truly embrace Equality in the workspace, monitor your hiring process and ensure your job description is free of discrimination.
When it comes to hiring employees and embedding Equality, employers should examine the job qualifications carefully. Is there anything that discourages or prevents certain groups from applying? Are certain qualifications like schooling or working in a traditional office weighted significantly higher than other experiences? Taking the time to ask these questions can reveal how a company might engage in discrimination.
Do the job postings discourage anyone from applying to the roles based on language, gender, or nation?
Taking advantage of a certain demographic, name, or gender should not be the criteria for selection; in fact, looking at credentials should be encouraged rather than taking anything else into account.
You get access to a much wider talent pool when you remove any bias that may block potential employees from applying to your positions.
3. Promote A Safe And Encouraging Work Environment.
Businesses must commit to change and look deeply at their current working environment. Are all the policies and laws regarding employment equality being respected?
Create an environment that encourages honesty, open communication, respect for individual backgrounds, beliefs, and practices, and recognizing the importance of diversity and celebrating it.
Businesses must also provide equal opportunities to all employees so everyone can improve their skills.
This includes ensuring that retreats and pieces of training are not prohibitively expensive to lower-salaried employees and that certain employees aren’t overlooked for further training.
4. Conduct An Audit And Introduce Policies Based On Equality.
The first step to promote Equality is to review the company’s human resource management policies and practices. The employer should confirm that all existing policies, practices, and procedures on recruitment, remuneration, entitlement to benefits, defining terms and conditions of work, access to vocational training, advancement, and promotion, as well as the termination of employment contracts, should comply with the equality standards.
Everyone should be treated fairly in all day-to-day activities and work-related decisions. They should embrace employees not as different but as more diverse workforces.
Do not implement any policy that creates unintentional bias, is morally wrong, or leads to unfavorable treatment of a group. Instead, take action to get them changed. These unconscious biases will continue to dictate your workplace if no immediate step is taken.
5. Check Your Communication Language And Terms.
It is very important to ensure that your language is free of discriminatory remarks or sexist language while communicating. Even If you say it unintentionally, your words can leave a negative impression about the company and make employees feel vulnerable. Don’t use jargon that can offend somebody.
6. Be Objective When Making Decisions.
At the time of recruiting, training, or promoting employees, always make sure to follow clear and objective criteria based on merit. No biased decisions should be encouraged. Always take decisions that are based on logic and impersonal facts. Prefer making decisions objectively and having sincere criteria for evaluation and improvement.
7. Remove The Gender Biases.
With increasing efforts to improve gender equality in the workplace, women still earn considerably less than their male colleagues and remain under-represented at the senior level.
Gender inequality in the workplace is a serious concern for many and employers should take every action to address such issues at work. As an employer, promoting gender equality in the workplace is a sign of promoting workplace equity.
To encourage a diverse team at work, you must have an equal representation of workers across various gender identities. Also, you must serve every worker, whether women or men, with equal respect, dignity, and opportunities.
8. Introduce Mentor Or Training Programs For All Employees.
When your organization initiates an equality-based culture, you allow people from all backgrounds to have educational and skills indifferences. This creates an enormous disparity in many workplaces. When you invest in a workforce education program, you provide your employees with useful resources that enable them to advance in their careers and grow with your company.
During the training process, ensure that people from different backgrounds don’t feel lost and confused. Maintain a fair tone throughout the training curriculum and conduct one-on-one meetings with mentors to guide employees in every step.
Creating Equality Is Not A Side Job.
To have a culture of equality in the workplace, there are certain roles that employers and employees should play collectively. Each pursuing them responsibly can have quicker effects.
|The role of Employers||The role of employees|
|Make sure that no employees in the organization are subjected to any kind of discrimination||Behave and perform in a way that never discriminates against other colleagues in the workplace.|
|Provide training and workshops to senior-level management surrounding equal opportunities.||Work in accordance with company policies and contribute to a culture of respect and dignity|
|Build a culture of diversity and communicate this regularly to employees||Be conscious of your actions and how they might affect others.|
|Provide access to learning and education to promote advancement in career||Always use a neutral tone while communicating and avoid discriminatory jargon or terms against each other.|
Equality does not just mean eliminating all kinds of discrimination, like gender, sexuality, race, or culture; it is more than that. Within the workplace, Equality is a desired commitment to change and self-reflection. No workplace is ideal, but the best workplace is where learning and growth are encouraged.
Suppose you are exclusively hiring or promoting people belonging to a certain demographic. In that case, you may need to re-examine your organization’s criteria to define an ideal leader or employee.
Be a supporter of equality and spread this notion through implementing policies, introducing training programs, facilitating team works, eliminating gender inequality, and promoting safe and healthy work culture.