Inequality disguised as being “special” and “gifted”

Equality can be defined as making sure that all humans have the same opportunity to live life the way they should regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc. Looking back at my personal experience in secondary school during my GCSE’s, I was put on the spectrum for having learning difficulties, and therefore qualified for extra time. I remember being separated with my fellow extra time buddies away from the rest in the exam hall. It made me feel like there was something wrong with us, and that we were different, far from equal to my friends and everyone sat on the opposite side to me. Schools should not separate less able students to help the invigilators distinguish between those who can leave the hall and those who have extra time. I want to open your eyes to the hidden inequalities and discrimination to humans that are disguised as equalities. Industries claiming to be diverse and equal just for the sake of it, rather than actually living up to the name of it. Although there have been significant changes regarding equality, there are still many gaps left in the margin that need adhering to in order to make the changes necessary. Despite there being inequality around the world, this blog will hold the focus mainly on groups within the United Kingdom. The types of equality I will be exploring will be social equality, gender equality, and racial equality specifically within the workplace environment and how they all link together.

Social equality or social inequality?

Social equality is based on fairness and justice between the social class hierarchies of upper-class, middle-class, and working-class groups and individuals. Being socially equal also means having the same rights, freedom of speech, and being able to have equal access to the same goods and services. For example, marriage has always been available and acceptable for heterosexual individuals, however same-sex marriage in the UK only became legalised in the summer of 2014.

Income inequality and class divisions are common in the UK. Those who are already wealthy will continue to get more wealthy. This means that with the cost of living rising each year, the pay grade also rises as help scheme but it does not get the poor richer while things are increasing price. This links to the saying “the poorest get poorer and the richest get richer” meaning nobody will ever be financially equal.

Gender Equality and Inequality

Generally speaking, men have always been known to be in power. For years society was an immensely patriarchal one, where women had to stay at home, cook, clean, and look after the kids, while husbands were the ‘breadwinners.’ Today times have changed as we know it. Gender roles have switched and traditional norms of women staying at home are no more. We see this in the fact that women can now work and have rights to education as any man would. Definitely, one can say discrimination against women in this case have lessened in the United Kingdom. However, according to the Office for National Statistics, the gender pay gap in the UK is decreasing. Although it has greatly improved, the gap is still there which suggests that it will take a while for men and women to be deemed equal within the workforce.

9 steps to close the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day - Energy Resourcing

Racial Inequality at work

In a study that surveyed 2,000 employees in the UK, it was found that BAME individuals felt coerced and pressured into behaving a certain way of professionalism that white individuals did not need to do because of their ‘privilege’. Results showed that 49% of the workers claimed that they felt they have to ‘mask their identity’ in order to fit in the workplace, while 43% were white employees who said they do not feel the need to conceal their true selves. These figures show how black and minority ethnic groups are treated differently by the board of directors of companies who are mainly white men and women. Many companies tend to employ BAME groups to come across as ethnically diverse, and yet make them feel different. Interestingly, 59% of BAME women said that they hide their real personalities when at work. It is important to note that white males are earning more than ethnic minorities. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that most minority ethnic groups earn less than white British employees. All of these show that racial inequality in the workplace will be inevitable and not only at work but in public worldwide.

Let me paint you a picture

Evidently, we are living in a world where everybody has equal human rights regardless. Without historic inequality, there would not be any forms of equality that we have today. All of the protests and boycotts have massively paid off and impacted our lives for the better. However, in my opinion, there are still small ounces of inequality and prejudicial people within society that make up the workforce. These are proven from official statistics. There will always be a social hierarchy between human beings. Although members of the LGBTQIA+ community are given their rights, they are still experiencing discrimination throughout the course of their lives as they face social stigma and feel as though they are not protected from bigotry and violence the same as heterosexual groups and individuals. The three forms of inequality mentioned throughout all show a certain pattern. That pattern tells us that equality is not at 100% yet, and the reason for this is because old, outdated mindsets have not left. Some people are not open to new generational norms and values, although it should not be the norm to ask for basic human rights, we have done everything we can and should hope for a better future.