Happy Inter(sectional)national Women’s Month!
The International Women’s Day theme for 2023 was #EmbraceEquity, which invites us to acknowledge that we don’t all start from the same place, and therefore recognise the need to make adjustments.
The theme requires some understanding of the difference between Equality and Equity, so let’s start with some simple definitions –
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances and allocates the necessary resources and opportunities to reach an equal outcome.
It’s hard to talk about women, equality, and equity without addressing the intersectionality that lies within it. Intersectionality addresses the understanding that parts of an individual’s social and political identities combine to create different forms of discrimination and/or privilege. It explores the idea that equal opportunities are no longer enough, because if we give everyone the exact same thing, expecting this will make people equal, it assumes that everyone started out in the same place, which is intrinsically misleading.
Marginalised communities such as people of colour, people who are disabled, the economically disadvantaged, or those from the LGBTQ+ community have been historically affected by inequity. Most businesses are putting in at least some effort to tackle the D&I agenda, however they often fail to recognise the important role of intersectionality – causing these same marginalised groups to be left out of discussions, and further perpetuating the bias.
(Image source – Dalberg, “Intersectionality in Organisations,” 2020)
If organisations want to shift systemic and structural barriers that get in the way of people’s ability to thrive, they should focus on embracing equity and placing an intersectional lens on their D&I initiatives. The diverse experiences of each employee should be taken into account in order to create a truly fair and inclusive workplace.
At Finyx, we know we have a way to go, but we are heading in the right direction. Here are a few things that we try and do to embrace equity:
- Ongoing review of policies and consideration of the layered experiences of individuals to ensure inclusion and protection for all employees
- Assessments of our recruitment processes to minimise hiring bias and discrimination
- Getting comfortable having uncomfortable conversations and fostering a culture of feedback without judgement, aiming for accountability and action
- The provision of consistent opportunities for education and awareness, as we acknowledge that one-off trainings will not be effective without more regular learning opportunities that occur organically
- Leadership sponsorship and transparency – our Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality Board meets with senior leadership on a regular basis to discuss upcoming plans and priorities, and our leadership support and echo messages shared by the I,D&E Board to the wider business