Check out the image above, titled "Equality vs. Equity." It's one of the best visual representations about why equality isn't the same as equity, and why we need to work to account for diversity of all kinds in the workplace to ensure that everyone is given the support they need to be productive.
Over the last six months I’ve participated in several 'Equity and Inclusion' training courses. I've done this for many reasons, but my highest priority in doing so was to add these principles and strategies to my toolbox to better assist my clients in improving communications among diverse cultures, races, religions, and so forth.
As an employer or manager, when you promote an inclusive workplace culture it demonstrates to your employees that communicating with respect is one of your company values. More and more businesses are adopting inclusionary policies and investing in training to create a workplace that is respectful to everyone. (Hopefully, we all end up working towards a pathway that provides the outcome in the third panel of the above image, where the systemic barriers that many face are no longer relevant.)
What I’ve witnessed personally is that by setting aside time for dialogue, you truly can overcome differences and focus on what employees have in common -- not to mention empower your team to collaborate and engage with others productively, respectfully, and ethically. The process doesn’t have to be challenging, especially when approached from the human perspective.