Diversity and Fairness

Being fair (not equal) with employees is necessary to be a great manager. With an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, this becomes even more critical that managers be conscious of fairness.

Recall that fair means giving everyone the same opportunities, it does not mean being equal. One of the issues with diversity in the past is we've identified equal as the solution and it isn't. Remember separate but equal? It doesn't work.

For example, the studies show that women are not as comfortable participating in meeting discussions. As a manager, find ways to call on women and give them extra opportunities to participate. Don't worry about giving everyone equal time, just focus on making sure the woman isn't being held back by anything.

Where this gets extra tricky is that generalizations are the enemy. You may have a woman on your team who has no issues with being heard in meetings. This means you need to get to know everyone on your team as individuals and then focus your fairness on them as individuals.

Just be aware that diversity issues do arise and you have to be conscious of how you and others act. Things will seem fair, but managers shouldn't treat any two individuals the same. Each has different needs.