It’s not about everyone getting the same, it’s about everyone getting what they need to improve their situation.

Because here’s the thing: Treating everyone exactly the same actually is not fair. What equal treatment does do is erase our differences and promote privilege.

Teaching smart and dumb mentees taught me all I needed to know about fairness and the persistence of privilege.

When Everyone Is Different, Fairness and Success Also Differs

An important conversation I have with my mentees is around the idea of equity versus equality. What do “fairness” and “success” really mean when we know that everyone is so different?

Equity and equality are two strategies we can use in an effort to produce fairness.

Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality is treating everyone the same.

Equality aims to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help. Equity appears unfair, but it actively moves everyone closer to success by “leveling the playing field.

But not everyone starts at the same place, and not everyone has the same needs.

Fixing the systematic obstacles (rather than fixing individual differences) requires us to be more intentional, but the extra work pays off.

Pan-African Tech Entrepreneur @HaqqmanHQ. Digital creations @WebstoreHQ, @LinqmanApp and more. Improve or get insights on web, business and digital lifestyle.