When It Comes to D&I: Equity is the Outcome


Over the 20 years of our practice, we have often found it exceedingly challenging to get CEOs and other leaders to "get it." They know what diversity is and they often think they know what inclusion is—yet they fail to actually include the voices of the people in their organization who can help them better connect with, and understand, their target audiences.


Now a new term has been introduced—equity. The kind of equity that would mean that people like George Floyd would be treated equitably in comparison with non-Black offenders. But not just George Floyd—everyone. Including everyone in your workplace.


Because one big thing that has been brought to light by George Floyd’s murder and subsequent riots around the world is that equity does not yet exist despite decades of attempts to level the playing field for women and people of color in the business world.

We’re on board with the addition of equity to the I&D equation. However, we also believe that this addition serves to add further confusion to what is already a very misunderstood field. So, at InclusionINC we’ve reframed the conversation.


Equity, we believe, is the outcome of I&D work.


Equity is ensuring that everyone in their unique difference has what they need to be successful. This means providing resources and access to those who need them with the ultimate goal of balancing unfair access to opportunities within the organization.


Equity is the Outcome


Inclusion is how we interact with others every day – it’s the behaviors, skills and practices we exhibit. Inclusion is an action verb that means capturing, heeding and acting upon the voice and talents of our entire workforce—not just the white male segment of that workforce.


Diversity represents the differences between us—differences that, yes, include race and ethnicity, but also include a myriad of other attributes that both define and differentiate us.


Equity is the result! Equity is ensuring that all employees—all employees—have the opportunity for the same promotions, perks and personal success in the workplace. It’s something that doesn’t exist in most workplaces today. We’re working on that!


Equity is the outcome of:

  • Recognizing staff for competence, not their years of experience

  • Ensuring staff have informal access to executive leadership and key influencers

  • Providing development opportunities

  • Offering opportunities to serve on special project teams—or to lead special projects

  • Offering participation in leadership programs

  • Providing opportunities for mentorship and sponsorship

  • Offering high visibility assignments as development opportunities

In many organizations—too many—these outcomes tend to be focused on the "special few"and the "likely suspects." It’s the reason so many board seats and C-level positions are held by white males. It’s because they enter the leadership pipeline to a far greater degree and at much earlier stages of their careers than women and people of color.


Because of these and other disparities bias takes a toll in business.


Inclusion behaviors, inclusive leadership skills and inclusive workplace practices applied without bias to diverse talent is what leads to equity.

Equity is the outcome.


Recommended Reading


Becoming an Inclusive Leader


Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage

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Are you tired of workplace diversity training that does not link to business? Are you tired of tactics that don’t drive business results? InclusionINC has inclusion training solutions and strategic consulting that link inclusion to employee engagement, productivity, innovation and retention, moving inclusion beyond tactics to a critical business strategy.

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