We’re all familiar with ‘equality’, and while ‘equity’ may seem similar, there is actually an important distinction between the two. ‘Equality’ means everyone is given the same resources and opportunities, while ‘equity’ recognises that each person has different circumstances and allocates resources to enable equal outcomes. In order to achieve gender equality, equity plays an important role in creating a fair and even playing field; taking inclusion and diversity even further.
For women to have the same opportunities and resources as their male counterparts, systemic and structural barriers must be removed. Although progress has been made in this regard, these barriers have been in place for a long time and change will take some time.
What can be done to push this agenda?
Although many are now spouting the merits of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), it can be said that the ‘E’ is the forgotten child in the trio. Diversity and inclusion are concepts that are easier to understand and implement, whereas equity requires more in-depth research, understanding, and implementation. It is a mindset change, and takes more than just orders trickling down from the top.
For example, in looking at a person’s performance, the parameters must be examined. Issues must be dissected and solutions given to enable the success of those who don’t fit into the traditional requirements. What accommodations can be made? What should be taken into consideration? What does the individual need to excel at what they do?
Why should organisations care about equity?
Equity is rising and will peak. If an organisation doesn’t move fast enough in terms of equity, there will be detrimental consequences.
Did you know;
- Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams are 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability
- Companies with more than 30 percent women executives are more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged between 10 to 30 percent
- Companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams are 36 percent more likely to outperform those in the fourth quartile
- Companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation
Equity ensures that you set your people, and in turn, your organisation up for success.
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
This view is short-sighted and only focuses on the ‘today’. Equity is important for the long-term sustainability of an organisation. Much as the need for a Chief Sustainability Officer was debated on just a few short years ago and is now an important position in most big-scale operations, equity must be ingrained in an organisation, its people and its policies.
With equity taken into consideration, diversity and inclusion come into play. A diverse and inclusive workforce can cater to a diverse customer base, ensuring better products, customer service and representation.
Where We Stand
At Maybank, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not limited to just gender, race, age, and ethnicity. It is a whole suite which includes other aspects such as education, mindsets, and well-being. Apart from engaging and leveraging a wide range of skillsets from an equally wide range of people, we purposefully promote a workplace that champions DEI and treats our people with dignity without discrimination.
Our multifaceted team in numbers:
- Women representation as at 31 December 2021: Board of Directors (30.8%), Top Management (37.0%), Senior Management (41.1%), Management (48.4%)
- 52.6% of Maybank Group workforce are aged below 40 years old with the majority being between 30 - 35 years old
- Our male to female ratio is about even with the latter group making 56.1% of total as at December 2021
Equity is a journey of transformation with understanding, clarity and possibilities gained the way. Let us celebrate how we’ve progressed in gender equality while acknowledging that there is still much to be done. Together, we can break down the barriers and break through those glass ceilings.
For more insights on gender equality and equity, watch the panel discussions featuring Maybank’s own Advisor for Business & Sustainability as well the Chair of 30% Club, Dato’ Ami Moris, and other distinguished thought leaders who advocate the culture of DEI. Tune in to “30% Club Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Conversation” here:
Part 1: DEI Conversation #5: Embrace Equity