About Step Up: Equity Matters

We're sharing diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and anecdotes. Sometimes we'll also share what we're all up to at Step Up: Equity Matters.

Step Up: Equity Matters is a movement for change. We believe a workplace strategy centered on achieving real equity attracts and retains diversity at all levels of an organization—from entry-level to the boardroom. (That’s why the E is in the middle of DEI, right? 😉) Equitable organizations don’t just welcome and appreciate diversity; they genuinely value it and work to create systems and culture for all members to thrive.

Historically, diversity and inclusion issues have been helmed by the people most acutely affected. Our mission is to rewrite this narrative through holistic improvements at a structural level and education on individual capabilities to practice equity.

As a catalyst, we employ our three-step approach:

Step 1. Recognize

We must recognize that biases are not inherently wrong, but they can cause inequities in our workplaces and communities when left unchecked. For example, I may have a bias in favor of people with postsecondary degrees. Without further examination, this positive bias may cause me to exclude perfectly qualified candidates from a job opening. In recognizing the inequitable outcomes this bias creates, I can begin to adjust my processes (my thought processes and organizational processes) to create a different result.

Step 2. Own

Accepting our personal and organizational biases can be challenging. As humans, we naturally want to see ourselves in a positive light. But, owning our biases does not make us bad people; it can only make us better. If everyone recognized and owned their biases, it would trigger individual and collective healing.

The key is to own our biases with compassion – for self and community. It is easy for us to judge our own and others’ behaviors. We must recognize that we had little control over the biases we inherited and simultaneously hold ourselves accountable for the biases we will leave as our legacy.

Step 3. Disrupt

Disrupting biases, like any progress toward equity, is a lifelong commitment. While our prejudices are deeply rooted and may never be entirely “gone,” our self-awareness and ownership empower us to decide how we act on them. It is essential to recognize that doing nothing is in itself a choice. Recognizing, owning, and disrupting biases empowers us to redesign our systems to safeguard against inequitable outcomes.

We place enormous emphasis on the importance of closing the gap between believing in and practicing equity. That’s why we support and value each individual’s journey. We bring the business community together to share resources, practices, great ideas, and lessons learned. Through consistent commitment and engagement, we know organizations can better our workplace and communities.

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In the meantime, tell your friends!