Inequality in the Workplace: Let’s Talk About It & How to Address it.

Inequality in the Workplace: Let’s Talk About It & How to Address it.

The recent protests and unrest in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have brought the issue of inequality to the forefront of our national conversation. The workplace is not immune to this problem, and it’s time for us to have a candid discussion about what we can do to address inequality in the workplace.

It’s no secret that inequality exists in the workplace. To create a level playing field, employers must be intentional about addressing inequality in the workplace.
Inequality in the workplace takes many forms. It can be overt, like when an employee is passed over for a promotion because of their race or gender. It can also be more subtle, like when an employee is given different opportunities for professional development than their colleagues because of their background or experience level.

How to Address Inequality in the Workplace

Regardless of how it manifests, inequality is a problem that needs addressing. And while there is no easy solution, there are some steps we can take to start making progress.

Here are four ways to do just that.

  1. Promote from Within
    One way to address inequality in the workplace is by promoting it from within. Employers value their contributions when they invest in their employees and provide growth opportunities. Furthermore, it gives employees a sense of ownership and pride in their work. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be productive and committed to their jobs.
  2. Encourage an Open Dialogue
    Encouraging an open dialogue about inequality is another way to address the issue through forums, town halls, or one-on-one conversations. Employers can gain valuable insights into how inequality affects their work lives by giving employees a platform to voice their concerns. Additionally, this open dialogue will help build trust between employees and management.
  3. Implement Unconscious Bias Training
    Unconscious bias is often at the root of inequality in the workplace. As such, employers need to address unconscious bias head-on. Unconscious bias training can help employees become aware of their biases and learn how to avoid acting on them. This type of training can be conducted online or in person and tailored to meet your organisation’s needs.
  4. Evaluate Your Compensation Structure
    Another way to address inequality in the workplace is by evaluating your compensation structure. Are you paying your employees equally for equal work? Are you providing adequate raises and bonuses? If not, it’s time to make some changes. Companies should compensate their employees fairly for their skills, experience, and education level. Furthermore, ensuring raises and bonuses are based on merit, not favouritism or nepotism.

Inequality is a major issue in today’s workforce. To create a level playing field, employers must be intentional about addressing inequality in the workplace. By promoting from within, encouraging an open dialogue, implementing unconscious bias training, and evaluating your compensation structure, you can take steps to address inequality in your workplace.

These are all great ways that businesses, large or small, can take actionable steps today to begin addressing wage inequality. Intentionality leads the way.

If your organisation is looking at how to improve your culture and create a diverse and inclusive culture please get in touch to see how I can help.

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