Does the world care about equity equality, or is it just lip service?


The buzzword of 2024 is "equity equality." But does the world truly care about achieving it, or is it just another hashtag trend?

Let's be real: the stark fact remains that diverse groups are grappling with a resource chasm. The 0.1-4% access to capital, education, and opportunity faced by many communities is a monumental hurdle, not just a minor inconvenience. To say "that's just how life is" is the epitome of privilege, a comfortable shrug from those standing atop the resource mountain.

So, is the world truly committed to change? Here's a reality check:

  • Action vs. Words: it's easy to champion equity in speeches and presentations. But where are the concrete actions that dismantle systemic barriers? The policies that break the glass ceiling, not just paint it prettier?
  • Shifting the power dynamic: true equity requires redistribution of power, not just platitudes about "fairness." This means challenging entrenched interests, disrupting the status quo, and empowering those furthest from the decision-making table.
  • Beyond diversity boxes: checking diversity boxes and hosting the occasional "inclusion workshop" is a hollow gesture. We need systemic change, not performative activism. True commitment means dismantling discriminatory structures and ensuring equitable access to resources, not just lip service


Remember the "name and shame" tactic of 2018? Governments across the globe, like the UK's DfT report highlighted companies with significant gender pay gaps. The idea was simple: transparency breeds accountability. But where's the follow-up? Have we heard of any major corporations publicly shamed and forced to change their ways? Or has the silence surrounding them lulled us into a false sense of progress?

The deafening lack of headlines about public shaming for gender pay disparity paints a worrying picture. Is the problem truly resolved? Hardly. Statistics tell a starkly different story. The global gender pay gap, despite some progress, still stands at around 16%. That's not exactly cause for celebration.

So, what happened to the "name and shame" movement? Did it lose its teeth? Did corporations find clever ways to game the system and avoid transparency? Or did we simply move on to the next shiny hashtag, leaving the actual work of dismantling systemic inequity untouched?

The answer, sadly, is likely a blend of all three. We need to reignite the fire of accountability. Public shaming may not be the sole solution, but it undoubtedly played a role in pushing the conversation forward. We need bolder policies, stricter regulations, and a collective refusal to accept the status quo.


Here's how we can make "name and shame" more than just a fleeting trend:

    • Push for stricter transparency laws: corporations should be legally obligated to disclose not just pay gaps, but also the underlying factors contributing to them, like promotions, bonuses, and job segregation
    • Demand public consequences for inaction: failure to address pay disparities should have tangible repercussions, like financial penalties or reputational damage
    • Amplify the voices of those left behind: we need to hear from the women (and other marginalised groups) still facing the sting of unequal pay. Their stories are the driving force behind change 

Let's not let the "name and shame" movement fade into obscurity. Let's use it as a springboard for bolder action, ensuring that true equity becomes more than just a hashtag and a distant dream.

So, what can we do? It's time to move beyond the empty rhetoric and into the messy trenches of action:

  • Demanding accountability: hold companies, governments, and institutions accountable for their actions, not just their intentions. Track progress, measure results, and don't let them hide behind empty promises
  • Amplifying marginalised voices: Listen to and learn from those experiencing the inequity firsthand. Center their narratives, not yours, and amplify their calls for change
  • Challenging our own biases: we all have unconscious biases. Acknowledge them, actively unlearn them, and use your privilege to speak up against injustice, not perpetuate it

The path to equity equality is long and arduous, but silence and complacency are not options. If we truly care about creating a just world, let's ditch the platitudes and embrace the uncomfortable, messy work of systemic change. Let's make "equity" more than just a buzzword – let's make it a lived reality.

Join the conversation. Share your thoughts, challenges, and solutions. Let's build a world where "that's just how life is" becomes a relic of the past.