Promoting Equal Opportunity in the Workplace
Equal opportunity in the workplace should be easy to sort. The Equality Act (2010) states that all employees have a right to an equal opportunity in the workplace. Most importantly, it ensures a person will be judged purely on their ability and skills.
What Is An Equal Opportunity In The Workplace?
"All people will be treated equally or similarly and not disadvantaged by prejudices or bias". In essence, this means that the right person for any job is employed, regardless of age, race, religion, gender, ethnicity and status. Therefore, it also means that any chance to progress is equal. As a result, nobody has any advantage.
Why is There Not Equal Opportunities in the Workplace?
Most importantly, there has been discrimination ever since the dawn of civilisation. Whether this is a conscious or unconscious decision is unclear. Despite this, there are multiple reasons why equal opportunities in the workplace are not in every company. These include:
From when we are born, the people around us influence our minds. As a result, they can change how we see the world and view other people. These biases become unconscious decisions that we use to judge people. Mixed with individual experiences, they lead to subconscious discrimination. Crucially, if someone is willing, views can be changed. In addition, it is necessary for all employers, employees and society in general. Therefore, the willingness to change and create these equal opportunities for everybody is the key to a progressive future.
Equal pay and fair opportunities for both genders is an issue that requires change. Therefore, all areas of society should be all-inclusive for everyone, regardless of historical gender. Reasons for this type of bias include:
- Society's traditions
- Boss's bias
- Company and peer judgment
Lack of Wanting to Change
As companies change with society, they have to change with social values. Since 2000, it has been a growing trend to judge a company based on its policies. As a result, these policies include equal opportunities for all. Unfortunately, while society is changing, some still follow old-styled values. Instead of educating themselves, they choose to remain biased. Despite this, you don't need to change your views to be respectful. Treating people with basic human decency should be a given, regardless of their characteristics.
Effects On Mental Health
A fair work environment can have many positive effects on mental health. Asa result, it can boost productivity which is the goal of every company. Furthermore, it builds confidence when judged on talent and ability alone. In addition, it encourages people from all backgrounds to work. Most importantly, it drives employees to work harder and produce their best work all the time.
Discrimination in Society
While society has progressed in the last decade, racism and discrimination is still a large grey area. Furthermore, disagreement on what discrimination includes can be hard to pinpoint. A lot of the time, it can come down to somebody's word against somebody else. In addition, discrimination can also change from culture to country to continent. As a result, it is challenging to have a global definition of discrimination.
Problems Of Equal Opportunity In The Workplace?
Just saying that there should be equal opportunities is easy. However, it can be hard to know how to create them. For example, there are many ways to ensure it is kept fair. Despite this, non of them are easy or come without problems. An opportunity made equal for everyone can also create problems for companies. These problems can include:
Human Resource Quotas
Human resources deal with the ethics of a company. In addition, they ensure that workers are being treated fairly and equally at all times. However, it can also become a political nightmare. Every company has to ensure they employ a certain number of diverse and ethnic populations. As a result, it is to ensure that people of all races are adequately represented. In addition, it also means that blind hiring is impossible. Blind hiring would be the ideal way to employ people. It limits the ability to discriminate based on a persons gender, race, sexuality etc. It would mean that somebody is employed based on their talent and skill. Unfortunately, due to rules about representation, it makes it impossible to hire in such a way.
Lack of Evidence
A lot of discrimination in the workplace happens behind closed doors. As a result, it is more difficult to evidence. Furthermore, following through on consequences, without proof, can be difficult.
A company could do everything in their power to create equal opportunity in the workplace. However, other employees biases can still make life difficult. Furthermore, peer pressure is a problem. Therefore, pressure from others can make workers not go for an opportunity. So while the opportunity is equal for everybody, the feeling of being able to apply is not. Most importantly, companies can reduce this by:
- Having regular meetings about expectations
- Remain strict with regulations
- Be consistent with not allowing bias
How To Start To Combat Inequality?
The first step to inclusivity is addressing the question of "Who are we eliminating?" Furthermore, this question can help you see who you could discriminate against. Seeing this and correcting it can help a company's diversity. In addition, the second step is to give total transparency. Therefore, showing why someone is or is not suitable for an opportunity is beneficial. Secondly, it can help that person to have some achievable goals. Equity is also a simple way to get rid of inequality. As a result, equity is to be fair and impartial.
To successfully create equal opportunities in the workplace, it is vital never to assume anything. Therefore, never presume that your process is already inclusive. Most importantly, companies should always be looking to change and update policies.
Moving forward, equal opportunities in the workplace must become a foundation. As a result, people will be treated fairly.
Written by Guest Writer
How Do You Provide Equal Opportunities in the workplace?
Ensure that everyone in a company is not discriminated against.
What Is An Example of Equal Opportunity?
Equal pay. Ensuring every employee has the same wages for doing the same job.
What Is Equality In The Workplace?
Equality is to not discriminate against people based on lawfully protected characteristics.