Why the focus needs to be on gender equity rather than equality

Becky Wright

Why the focus needs to be on gender equity rather than equality

Gender equality has been the foundation of the gender inclusion fight for years, but what about gender equity? With gender equity being the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re going to dive into what it is and why it is so important…

Let’s start with what gender equality is. Gender equality means everyone having access to the same opportunities, such as promotions and pay. Which is the ultimate end goal, right? 

But the issue is, it assumes that we all start from the same position – which we don’t! – and it glosses over the systemic barriers and inequalities which prevent women from accessing the same opportunities and achieving the same outcomes as men. 

Take two colleagues vying for a promotion – a woman and a man. They both have the same education and experience, so they’re both a great fit on paper. But a lack of access to affordable childcare means the woman has no choice but to work part-time, as childcare responsibilities are still predominantly falling on women. The problem? The promotion on offer is full-time and office-based only, which means she cannot apply and move forward in her career. Yes, the opportunity is there, but due to barriers she is unable to access it. 

Another example? Pay. The aim of gender equality is to ensure that women are paid equally to men. However, it does not address the fact that women are often paid less than men despite doing the same work. In fact, last year women took home £564 LESS than men per month? This is often down to discrimination and bias.

Gender equity acknowledges that not all women have the same experiences, and some women will experience additional barriers and discrimination, such as those from poorer backgrounds, or women from BAME communities. So, gender equity addresses the specific needs and circumstances of different groups of women to create an inclusive society.

To put it simply, the aim of gender equality is equal opportunities and rights for all genders, while gender equity focuses on addressing the root causes of inequality, so that we can work to rectify these issues and provide support to remove barriers, meaning we can build a more inclusive society.


How is See Her Thrive making a difference?

Gender equity is what drives our work at See Her Thrive. As a female-founded and female-run business, we want to live in a society where women are able to thrive at work.  

So, we work with a range of organisations to create inclusive workplaces by delivering training on issues like women’s health and gender bias in the workplace and consulting on policies to make sure organisations talk the talk AND walk the walk. 

Want to know more? Book in a discovery call to find out how we can help.


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