Equality and Equity: One Syllable Different and a World Apart

Equality and Equity. One seeks to provide an equal opportunity, and the other seeks to provide an equal outcome. But, what does that really mean?

Well, let’s start with equal opportunity. Let’s say there is an opening for an accountant on your company’s auditing team. The company has posted an advertisement for the job and is soliciting resumes from all current employees and outside applicants. All those applying need to possess, at a minimum, the same certification of skills, the same approximate time in position, and the same performance evaluation ratings. All things being equal, the selecting official will make their selection based on the person with the best qualifications. Here, the position is being filled by giving all applicants an equal opportunity to be selected.

When going for a position being filled by equity – well, not so much.

When filling a position based on equity, the company will be spending less time for proof of skills, time in position, or performance evaluations. No, instead of looking at basing their selection on merit, the company’s selecting official will focus on how the candidate matches up with the desired political and socially progressive elements being sought by company leadership. Now possessing the desired / required qualifications for the position would be nice of course, but not having them will not impede the selection process when looking to put equity before equality.

You are a smart reader, so I won’t go down the long and esoteric list a company might be looking for to meet the demands placed on them for increasing diversity, equity, or inclusion in their workplace -especially if your business depends on current government / corporate contracts. Suffice it could include any combination of minority, race, sex, national origin, religion, economic status, disability, etc. you might imagine.

Now that sounds nice, but let’s fast forward to your upcoming pancreatic surgery…

The hospital where you are scheduled to undergo surgery has been actively trying to hire a new board certified gastroenterology surgeon to join the staff. Surgical board members have been looking hard at resumes and have provided their suggestions to the selection committee. It is no secret human resources and financial officers have been campaigning hard for the committee to fill the position based on equity. After all, what better way to fend off and satisfy the liberal doors the hospital relies on for expansion? As the ongoing challenge to meet the forces or equality and equity continues, two candidates emerge as serious competitors.

One surgeon’s name is Dr. Ellis. Dr. Ellis was given and earned an equal opportunity to attend medical school. Dr. Ellis met all well-established undergraduate requirements, scored very high on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), excelled academically in medical school, and received numerous recommendation letters during their rotations and residency. Dr. Ellis is a highly trained and competent surgeon whose evaluations exceed ratings given among their peers. Dr. Ellis is a board certified gastroenterology surgeon.

The other surgeon being considered is Dr. Wilson. Dr. Wilson was presented with an opportunity to attend a well-known medical school because the university didn’t yet have that particular minority represented at the school. Surprised their undergraduate degree and average MCAT score was accepted by the medical school, Dr. Wilson gladly attended. During medical school, Dr. Wilson was carefully tracked and provided the support needed to successfully graduate and move on to residence in a nearby hospital. After a number of satisfactory evaluations, Dr. Wilson is now a board certified gastroenterology surgeon.

The other surgeon being considered is Dr. Wilson. Dr. Wilson was presented with an opportunity to attend a well-known medical school because the university didn’t yet have that particular minority represented at the school. Surprised their undergraduate degree and average MCAT score was accepted by the medical school, Dr. Wilson gladly attended. During medical school, Dr. Wilson was carefully tracked and provided the support needed to successfully graduate and move on to residence in a nearby hospital. After a number of satisfactory evaluations, Dr. Wilson is now a board certified gastroenterology surgeon.

Which doctor do you hope the hospital hires to conduct your scheduled surgery next month?

Equalitarian partty