May 3, 2023 | General Interest

Group of people working closely together

Equity VS Equality

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We talk quite a bit about the importance of language, and how using words that are inclusive to everyone are extremely important. Equity and equality are likely words that you are familiar with, but may not understand why using one over the other, especially among fair treatment for marginalized groups of people, is imperative. Therefore, today we would like to talk about the meanings of equity and equality, and why we prefer to use equity. 

What does equality mean? 

Merriam-Webster defines equality as: “the quality or state of being equal.” Equality is where everyone gets assistance, even though that may not be enough for some, and too much for others. For example, if you give two people $100, this would be seen as equal. However, consider one person lives below the poverty line, while the other makes a six-figure income, this is no longer equal due to their financial circumstances. 

What does equity mean? 

The term equity and equality are often used interchangeably, but we want people to understand why they shouldn’t be! While equality is seen as everyone receiving the same treatment or resources across the board, equity means the same result for everyone, regardless of differences. Equity takes into consideration individual circumstances and provides support accordingly. Therefore, what one person is given, might look different from someone else. 

When we consider marginalized groups of people, there is often the misunderstanding that giving them the same resources means that they are being treated fairly and “equally.” However, it is important to consider all factors surrounding each individual and their circumstances. When we acknowledge these differences, and make sure to provide the necessary adjustments or additions, we will successfully achieve equity among everyone. Achieving equity means that things like age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation will not get in the way of accessing what people require to be successful. 

While equality is important, and does have its place, it is not as simple as giving everyone the same thing, and assuming this will be enough. That is why striving for equity is something we work towards at Candor Disability Group, and we encourage others to do the same. 

Everyone deserves and desires to be treated fairly. Taking some time and effort in learning how to do this successfully will help get us closer in doing so both in the workplace and in society. 

Learn more on this topic

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