Equity and Equality Scenario
Click the ‘scenario’ button below to review the topic and then answer the following question:
Scenario : DEI
You have been hired as an external consultant to increase the productivity and reduce the conflict among a team of 20 professionals. The company’s HR team has facilitated many exercises and interventions to improve the cohesiveness of the team whose cultural differences are leading to a great deal of the friction and discord.
Each of the team members has an important expertise that fits the needs of the organization, making it nearly impossible to remove any of them. To complete specialized tasks, the team breaks into small groups of 2-4 members.
The team has three months remaining to create a product that is of national importance. The initial deadline was six months, but the first three months were largely lost due to the cultural conflict.Your analysis should begin with a cultural self-analysis. You will have an opportunity to think through strategies to support the diversity in the community and improve feelings of inclusivity as you evaluate culturally diverse communication and strategies to support cultural empathy to help differentiate and create equality, equity, and justice in the work environment.
After a thorough HR investigation, it has been determined the common theme among most of the complaints and grievances that have led to the productivity issues are centered around the following:
- A perceived lack of understanding and acceptance of some team members’ diversity and differences in how they approach the task,
- A perception among some inequities are not addressed by the company, and
- Some not feeling included when working alongside others
Due to the highly confidential nature of the project, team members are required to live in a compound together for six months; however, they all have personal rooms. They are permitted the same number of hours to contact friends and family electronically (all conversations are knowingly recorded) but they are not allowed to leave. Outsiders are not allowed within the compound. Team members have agreed to work 10 hours per day, six days per week.
Some elements of some of the characteristics of the 20 members are as follows:
- 8 people that identify as male
- 8 people that identify as female
- 4 people that do not identify as either male or female
Ethnicity and Race
- 6 people that self-report as Caucasian
- 4 people that self-report as multi-racial (two or more races)
- 4 that self-report as African American and/or Black
- 1 person that self-reports as Asian
- 1 person that self-reports as Pacific Islander
- 1 person that self-reports as American Indian
- 3 people that self-report as Hispanic or Latino
- 10 members of the team are between the ages of 25 and 40
- 10 members of the team are between the ages of 41 and 66
- 6 members of the team have reported disabilities that are protected under the ADA.
- 16 of them report being part of a specific religion, including denominations of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Taoism.
- 4 of them do not report being associated with any religion and/or report being atheist.
- 11 report being heterosexual
- 8 report as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another sexual preference other than heterosexual
- 1 reports as not having a sexuality at all
- 10 of them have a BMI that places them in the normal weight range.
- 2 of them have a BMI that places them in the underweight category.
- 6 of them have a BMI that places them in the overweight category.
- 2 of them have a BMI that places them in the obese category.
- All 20 of them speak English fluently.
- 13 of them speak at least one other language fluently.
- 9 of them do not identify English as their first language.
- 10 report “married” as their legal marital status
- 6 report “single” as their legal marital status.
- 1 reports “widowed” as their legal marital status.
- 2 report “divorced” as their legal marital status.
- 1 reports “separated” as their legal marital status.
*(Since domestic partnership is not legal in all US states, this was not an option to report)
- 10 of them report a parental status of at least 1 minor child
- 6 of them report a parental status of children over the age of 18
- 4 of them report that they are not legal parents of any children (minor or adult)
Team Member Three filed a grievance stating that although the team seemed very inclusive on the outside, they felt hidden disabilities were not acknowledged or respected on the same level as visible disabilities. The specifics of the grievance were that Team Member Three needed to take ADHD and anxiety medicine at a certain time every day for it to be effective. Their partner in the project, Team Member Four, had Parkinson’s Disease and needed to take their medication at the same time to avoid tremors that made it difficult to perform. Since someone had to always be at the station, Team Member Three, who was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety, was expected to “wait” because their needs were not seen as physical needs, and they needed to give priority to Team Member Four because they were the “person with the ‘real’ medical disability.” Due to the security of the worksite, the doors are opened to let people in or out only once every hour.
In an attempt to develop an empathetic strategy to benefit everyone, the proposed solution was deemed equal because both team members had an opportunity to leave to take their medication within an hour. Although not at the same time, both were given the resource/allowance to take a break.
Question: Explain how allowing the person that was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease to take their medication at the exact time that was needed while expecting the person that was diagnosed with ADHD/anxiety to wait until the next available time is considered an equal solution and not an equitable solution through your evaluation?