Workplace equity means having a workplace where everyone feels valued, is treated fairly, and is empowered to contribute and to pursue happiness in their job. Workplace equity is a goal that requires everyone’s participation so opportunity for all becomes reality. What’s your
role? Here are five ways that you, as a coworker, can help bring equity to your workplace.
1) Value diversity. Diverse workplaces enhance businesses and help them compete in an increasingly diverse world-of-work that expects and rewards workplace equity. See diversity as a plus for any organization.
2) Value inclusion. Inclusion means that differences among employees aren’t cause for discrimination—people feel equally welcomed and valued for their contributions.
3) “Step in.” When you witness values of inclusiveness, equality, respect, or equal opportunity being overlooked or dismissed, be the one who says, “Can we talk about ___ in this situation?”
4) Don’t turn away or dismiss slights or unintentional (indirect) discrimination against others. Those who are victims of discrimination often brush off or set aside these micro-aggressions.
5) Know your biases and mind your language. Everyone has biases, but consider how these biases are demonstrated in private conversations with close friends, and how they may emerge within the workplace and community at large.
Workplace equity is an evolving value and area of study for employers and work organizations. The misconception among many employees is that the responsibility for equity lies solely with management and the organization’s policies. Ultimately, however, it is the employee-to-employee interaction level that determines whether the goal is realized.