This International Women’s Day, the word on everyone’s lips is equity.
Unlike equality, which is the act of giving an individual or group of people the same resources or opportunities, equity recognises that we are all different. And that we, as individuals, may need different resources or opportunities in order to achieve balance, overall.
Giving everyone exactly the same opportunities doesn’t work if we don’t acknowledge the inherent differences that can create imbalances.
Take unpaid internships as an example. You may offer the same internship to two people, but if one is wealthy and one is struggling financially, it’s no longer the same opportunity.
To truly embrace equity, this often means lifting others above ourselves and knowing when it’s time to allow someone else to shine. It might mean not putting yourself forward for a leadership role in order to let someone with more diverse experience take charge. It might mean accepting that certain people need more time off or benefits than you do. It might mean reviewing company pay discrepancies and finally closing that gender pay gap. Or just embracing the knowledge that people’s lives, habits, religious practices, backgrounds and bank accounts may look different to yours.
When it comes to women, every day, all over the world, glass ceilings are being broken and history is being made with our achievements. But we need to stop seeing success as a solo mission. Real equity is leaving the ladder there. Better yet, offering a hand to help up the next great woman—especially if she is part of an additional minority.
If success is a place, there is room for all of us. Fear might tell you that a woman succeeding is a threat or a hindrance, but there are only positives to having more women in the world of work. Research has found, time and time again, that having more women in a workplace benefits everyone—increasing job satisfaction, meaningful work, organisational dedication and significantly decreasing cases of burnout.
Women - especially women of colour or women who have lived experiences of injustice or inequality - bring a wealth of untapped knowledge and creativity that could never come to light in a boardroom full of men.
In a world that is becoming increasingly thirsty for more diverse narratives - one that wants to hear the untold stories, rather than the ones we have already heard - in order to succeed in business, there is only one road to take:
From all of us here at female-founded, women-of-colour-run, Remotify, we wish you a very happy International Women’s Day.