Equity vs Equality: Understanding the Difference

16th October 2022

You have probably come across the words equity and equality being used interchangeably. The application of one word against another does tend to have quite different effects on persons of an ethnic minority, even though both are essential to social justice. Simply put, equality serves everyone equally regardless of their requirements. Still, equity accomplishes justice by meeting people where they are and serving them differently depending on their needs to generate equitable results.

Using an example can help you to grasp equality vs. equity better. Let’s say three employees from your place of business are competing in a marathon, and they all have different-sized feet. Giving everyone a pair of shoes of the same size is an act of equality. Giving everyone a pair of shoes that fits them correctly is equity.

In this blog, equity and equality will be discussed in relation to race, why it is important to strive for equity and how you help to reinforce equity within society.nderstanding racial equity 

Understanding racial equity

To begin ending systematic racism and building an inclusive community, it is crucial for you as a member of society to understand the essential differences between racial equity and equality. According to Rise, a non-profit organisation that empowers sports communities to eliminate racial discrimination, racial equality is the idea that everyone should be able to achieve based on their efforts and contributions to society rather than their rank or position in society; equity recognises that no one enters society at the same point! Some people are in unfavourable settings and circumstances, making it more difficult to achieve the same goals with the same amount of effort. Those who have traditionally been impoverished and are struggling to succeed are helped by equity.

Why equity is important and why y

Why equity is important and why you should promote equity

Workplaces, organisations, education systems, and society must work to eliminate the belief that equity entails the special treatment, favouritism, preferential treatment, pity, weakness, or a guilty conscience and instead emphasise that what is ‘fair’ is not a matter of providing the same options to everyone, but rather of considering where at what position a person begins. As the article from the National Association for Multicultural Education (National Association for Multicultural Education, 2022) points out, equal treatment may not be enough to ensure that ethnic minorities may attain their full potential in society/education/the workplace/or anywhere. When assessing what is fair, equity analyses historical and other factors.

An example of a scenario where equity and equality may not be practised is within recruitment. Still to this day, people of ethnic minority are higher unemployment rates than the rest of society. In accordance with a UK government report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, unemployment in 2019 was 4% among White group, compared to 8% among the Pakistani and Bangladeshi group, 8% among the Pakistani and Bangladeshi group, 8% among the Black group, and 6% among Mixed group. This is an example of equality/ equity and racial injustice.

The difference was more obvious for those between the ages of 16 and 24: the unemployment rate for White persons is 10% compared to 19% for ethnic minority groups. The greatest unemployment rates were among Black African and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, with 26% and 24%.

Racial equality ensures that people from all walks of life have an equal opportunities at the same chances. As a result, greater outcomes are gained because the most talented individuals emerge, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, fuelling growth in education, organisations, and society.

As a society, we are responsible for fostering racial equality so that future generations can compete at the same level for the same opportunities without fear of discrimination based on skin colour or ethnicity!

Whats actions do we need to take to begin to achieve racial equity and equality?

The quest for racial justice, like many other social justice campaigns, may feel intimidating. Regardless of the problem, we can all do our part (large or small) to make our communities more equal and safer for all.

To eliminate racism, we need purposeful action. We’ve had platitudes of kind words, banners, and so on, but we need focused action that will build on supporting society. As the theme of Black History Month is “Actions Not Words,” here are some ideas for taking action in your neighbourhood, home, and organisation.

Community/ household

Consider your own belief system: do you have any biases? How do you take them apart? How can you expand your understanding of equity through literature, media, diversity, and inclusion seminars? To understand your own biases, you can take an unconscious bias test here


Racism must be viewed as a structural component that affects every element of organisational activity, from marketing to pricing. Leaders must recognise racial equality initiatives to make genuine progress toward racial fairness inside their organisations. Here are some examples of ways to recognise racial justice initiatives:

– Investing in black professional leadership development programmes.

– Recruiting top executives to become active supporters of Black professionals.

–  Unlearning all your negative prejudices about Black professionals and getting away from the confirmation bias that leads you to believe that all Black people are the same.

– It acknowledges the existence of institutional racism, and while you are a good leader, you may have prejudices towards the Black professionals on your team.

At GottaBe! Ethnic we strive for equality and equity within our workplace. If you are interested in understanding more ways to create an equitable environment, whether that be in your workplace, household or community, do not hesitate to get in touch

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