Excerpted from Lexology by Quarles & Brady LLP

The word “Equity” is often seen and heard in news articles, classroom settings, and certainly all over social media. But is it being heard and seen in your workplace, and is it being promoted and included in the framework of your firm’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives? For those who come from marginalized or under-represented communities, or those who care about advancing these communities, “Equity” is more than merely another refrain.

THE MEANING OF EQUITY

It is not possible to have true Diversity and Inclusion without Equity. Equity is itself the bellwether of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity model. While Diversity pro-vides a quantitative representation, and Inclusion is added to the mix to allow one to be accepted as their true and authentic self, Equity denotes our deepest understanding of its nuances and intricacies. It recognizes the historical legacies and current realities of discrimination and prejudice experienced by marginalized or under-represented communities.

In order to be truly inclusive, it is imperative to operate within an Equity lens, the process for analyzing and diagnosing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on marginalized or under-represented individuals or groups, and to identify and eliminate potential barriers. Equity requires the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement of everyone, while identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of marginalized or under-represented individuals or groups.
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