MILWAUKEE, November 15, 2021, /3BL Media/ - Workplace equity and equality are not the same. By knowing the difference between the two, people managers can better support their employees’ career paths and team diversity, according to Rockwell Automation’s (NYSE: ROK) Candace Barnes, director, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs.
“Equality is treating everyone the same. What’s offered to one is offered to all,” Barnes wrote in a recent blog. “Equity is providing the support each person needs – and that support will vary depending on the individual’s goals, background, and identity. As leaders, we focus on being fair-minded. And sometimes that looks like treating people the same. But fair and equal is not always equitable.
“It’s time to know the difference and how that difference influences your leadership,” she continued. “Because what works for one employee most certainly will not for another, since beyond race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, generation and disability status, there are so many identities, characteristics, and experiences that make each employee an individual, deserving of unique space and support.”
Barnes suggests managers talk to their employees as the foundation to getting to know what inspires and motivates, concerns, and challenges each one of them.
“To build trust, you must listen to understand your employee’s experience – with curiosity, courage, and conviction to learn,” she said.
Barnes also advises managers to create space for mistakes by encouraging experimentation and risk taking. “When there’s no room for mistakes, there’s less room for innovation – and that hurts us all.”
To help support this effort within Rockwell Automation, the company will launch Managing Across Difference training for Rockwell’s 2,969 global people managers starting this quarter. The training was first piloted with a select group of managers of early career talent, followed by 300 employees at the director level and above.
Managing Across Difference is designed to help participants manage diverse teams inclusively, including strategies and tools for building trust, psychological safety, and greater inclusion. Managers will learn how to lean into inclusive communication with open, authentic dialogue and how to cultivate tools to recognize and combat microaggressions.
Ultimately, Rockwell will roll out a version of the Managing Across Difference training to all its 24,500 global employees.
Read Barnes’ full blog. Learn more about Rockwell’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and watch Rockwell’s Chief DEI Officer Bobby Griffin who shares his brief perspective on why DEI is so important.