Leadership: Equity and Fairness for All
The first and most essential step a leader takes to ensure equity and fairness within their organization is to care about equity and fairness genuinely. Most leaders faced with this dilemma have arrived at the quest through necessity rather than through preference. Holland (2011) asked us to imagine being placed into a scenario where language, familiarity with local culture, traditions, beliefs, gender, background, personalities, business climate, business practices, and opinions are all in the mix. An essential step after assuming responsibility for equity and fairness through care is to define equity in terms of fairness. Holland's expression of being in the mix is a perfect rendition of the definition of equity. A leader needs to evaluate their organization to determine if all the things that make humans different are in the mix in the workplace. If not, then there is a problem to fix.
The first two steps require internalization of the problem and realizing the necessity to fix it. If the leader is not someone who recognizes the need for diversity, this process is entirely irrelevant. To control and operate in cultural complexity, leaders must gather many different perspectives and approaches and provide each of them with a voice in the structure and decision-making patterns of the organization (De Vries & Florent-Treacy, 2002). Once this is accomplished, the environment will organically and authentically possess equity and fairness. The only other step is to ensure that diversity is on all levels, from executive leadership to the lowest level of employee status.
An equitable and fair workplace would be a place where language, familiarity with local culture, traditions, beliefs, gender, background, personalities, business climate, business practices, and opinions are all included in the workplace's practices, processes, and procedures. (Holland, 2017). Therefore, the first step to achieving equity and fairness in a leader is internalizing equity and fairness. Some leaders exemplify these qualities to those they choose to. For example, a leader is fair and includes LGTBQ+ members, but not the Muslim community. Leaders like this fly under the radar because they are perceived to be inclusive for their acceptance, listening, trust, and communication with the LGTBQ+ employees (Holland, 2017). The first step is to acknowledge bias and prejudice within to notice when opportunities for fairness and equity for all are compromised.
DE VRIES, M. F. R. K., & FLORENT-TREACY, E. (2002). Global Leadership from A to Z: Creating High Commitment Organizations. Organizational Dynamics, 30(4), 295–309. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1016/S0090-2616(02)00067-0
Holland, J. (2012). Leading diversity. Leading Change Group. https://web.archive.org/web/20170107032437/leadchangegroup.com/leading-diversity/