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Martine Chaillet (TBS 1991) - Equality, equity and justice

07 December 2022 Careers

Do you know the differences between equality, equity and justice? And what do you value most in your groups, in your company?


The same rules of operation for all?

The idea for this article came to me as a result of a question that was asked during a team coaching that I led recently. We were talking about the importance of clear, meaningful and shared operating rules.

One of the team members asked, “We’re saying we want unique rules, but is that really wise? Doesn’t the rule, to be fair, have to be tailored to the individual and the situation?”. The debate and adjustment that followed were exciting.

No one in the group really agreed on the terms of equality, equity and justice. Let us look at this point.

Equality, a value so dear to us

Imagine that we have a large cherry tree full of good ripe and juicy fruits. We have 2 people on both sides of the tree. The cherry tree leans to one side. We may think that the person on the side where the tree leans is more likely to catch a fruit.

Equal treatment would be to give a scale of the same height to each of the persons (the tree being high). But the one on the side where the tree leans is more likely to catch cherries again.

What if equity were more egalitarian?

Equity is about giving everyone a scale of different height so that both people are at the same height of the fruits and have the same chance to catch them. We can say that there is equality of opportunity here.

What about justice?

Big question…but I’m taking advantage of this image to give a lead, among others. What if justice were to try to straighten the tree so that, with the same scale, everyone could have the same access to the fruits? A way of saying that it is sometimes wise to look at the causes of inequality and change the data to restore equality.

And you, what do you think about equality, equity and justice? What do you choose to value most?

If you need support for you and your teams, do not hesitate to contact Martine from EArise Consulting.


Article written by Martine Chaillet, Professional Coach and member of our Mutual Support Services

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