Wednesday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. Equity is essential for all societies to achieve. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA, and it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
Equality versus Equity: What’s the difference as we #EmbraceEquity for IWD 2023 and beyond? The words equity and equality are often used interchangeably. This year’s IWD campaign theme seeks to get the world talking about why “equal opportunities are no longer enough” – and can be exclusionary rather than inclusive. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
We encourage everyone to view and listen to this video explaining the difference between equity and equality.
At Williams Engineering (WE), we discuss and explore how we can put our understanding between equity and equality into action while finding new ways to review our internal processes around project design and delivery to ensure our solutions consider equity for the end users of the infrastructure we design.
In addition, over the past two years, WE has partnered with the University of Alberta to provide a paid scholarship to female students currently pursuing Engineering. The scholarship is known as the Williams Engineering Women’s Award in Engineering. Our hope is that by providing this scholarship, we can support the education of a young female engineering student and provide equitable opportunities for the recipient. In 2022, the Williams Engineering Women’s Award in Engineering was awarded to Makenna Kuzyk. You can read more about Makenna’s experience here.
We encourage you to visit this year’s IWD resource site to learn more and reflect on how you can contribute to ensuring more equity in our communities.