In the workplace, the term ‘equality’ can refer to the concept of treating all workers there on account of their qualifications, skills and performance rather than personal background.
Instilling equality both at the recruitment stage and during each worker’s employment journey with you can give rise to a more diverse workforce. Companies that successfully attract diverse talent garner 35% higher profits, according to one study mentioned by Business Advice.
So, what steps could you take to encourage equality — and, as a result, diversity?
Endeavour to prevent indirect discrimination
While direct discrimination can be straightforward to watch out for, it’s a different situation with indirect discrimination. This is where someone enacts a working plan that, though perfectly serviceable in theory, actually disadvantages certain groups of people by accident.
Thrive Global cites the example that “working with personal protective equipment that is precisely designed for men when used by women can put them in danger as the sizes of the equipment may vary.”
Train staff in practices that encourage diversity and inclusion
Many members of your staff could end up inadvertently violating principles of equality in your workplace if not familiarised beforehand with how to avoid doing so.
After all, for many of us, identifying and preventing forms of unconscious bias to which we may be prone can be tricky.
It’s up to you exactly how the training is delivered. You could opt for classroom sessions or instead make online e-learning courses available to your recruits.
Work to close — or compensate for — any gender pay gap
The Startups website acknowledges that, though UK legislation has been introduced requiring companies with over 250 staff members to publish pay gap figures, there remain certain reasons why, in practice, women may continue to receive lower pay than men.
For example, women are often naturally drawn to lower-paying jobs and may need to work part-time to accommodate family responsibilities.
If many women at your firm are in the latter position, you could introduce group critical illness cover that can, circumstances permitting, financially support a female worker if their child falls ill.
Be careful what language you use
You could have long underestimated the extent to which your choice of language influences how welcome people feel in your presence.
However, it isn’t just the words you vocalise that would warrant meticulous selection. You should, for example, make sure that your business documents are written in such a way that many different individuals would feel comfortable reading them.
Be conscious of religious occasions that are coming up
Workers can hugely differ in their spiritual practices — and, consequently, the religious breaks and events they celebrate.
Therefore, you should be wary of celebrating only those religious occasions that are the best known in your country — Christmas being one good example in many Western countries.
If your workplace has a notice board that is often used for marking major occasions emerging on the horizon, this board can make an ideal place for you to draw attention to annual traditions that are unjustly overlooked.
HR Future Staff Writer