Equity & Equality
Equity and equality? How different could they be? Significantly!
Equality is what we learn as kids—everyone gets a turn on the slide, everyone gets the same size piece of cake. In other words, resources are distributed equally.
Equity is distributing resources to meet the specific needs of an individual or group.
As demonstrated in the graphic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, equitable policies, programs, and interventions allocate resources in ways that respond to the distinct and existing advantages and disadvantages faced by different subgroups of a population. This approach provides equal opportunity for everyone to succeed.
At NIH, equity-focused programs such as targeted recruitment of under-represented groups help to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive scientific workforce.
To learn more:
- The former CEO of the Gates Foundation wrote about The Power of Equity in this article from Forbes.
- Lots of cartoons have been used to illustrate the equity vs. equality distinction and some interesting debate has arisen about which ones do the best job. Read about them:
- The Problem with that Equity vs. Equality Graphic You’re Using from culturalorganizing.org
- The Evolution of an Accidental Meme from Medium.com