What it means to #EmbraceEquity.

Today is International Women’s Day, and the theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Embrace Equity’. It matters that we uphold the value of equity in everything we do, and that everyone is heard, so we opened up the conversation to our team to understand what equity means to them. This is what they said.

Equity is not equality, and that’s an important distinction. Being equal means giving everyone the same amount of resources and opportunities, but being equitable means giving each person the support they need to get to the same place. Equality is asking both the fish and the bird to swim across the same lake; equity is letting the fish swim and the bird fly. Of course, the way each individual understands and accomplishes it is different. Here is how a few of our team members interpreted equity:

What does equity mean to you?

“For me, it means taking the time to understand someone's experiences and acknowledging that everyone starts from a different place in life. Helping to build them up to a point where they are equipped with the tools to be themselves and thrive!” – Sarah Reid, talent and studio manager

“Respect each other. No judgments.” – Maria Saghie, CRM research assistant

“Equity means recognising and dealing with the obstacles people face in their everyday lives, and finding ways to help that are specific to each situation. It's about understanding and addressing the particular circumstances that people are dealing with. It’s kindness paired with fairness.” – Georgie Sartin, production assistant

“To me, equality is when people receive the same opportunities, but equity is when people receive opportunities that they deserve. One leaves some people struggling to even get past the starting line, and the other gives those what they need to get to that finish line.” – Libby Tsoi, senior brand designer

“Equity is learning to diminish your ego. It’s focusing on others instead of you and how you can make space for them, how you can put them in power and how you can act every day, not when someone tells you to. It requires some bravery to stop being self-centred and look at your actions honestly. When I'm fighting for it, that's what I demand from others. Until I reach equality.” – Alice Auxenfans, strategist

“Equity means recognising what so many people have had to go through before us, and appreciating the progress we’ve made, but it also means looking at how we can continue to push forward for the next generation.” – Jas Welsh, brand designer

"Equity to me is personal. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to human challenges. Everyone's experiences on this planet are unique, which means we all need unique support systems to thrive and succeed." – Tom Pelling, senior experience designer

How do you embrace equity? What do you think people can do more of?

“We support each other, not by shying away from others or our own uniqueness, but by celebrating each other and building a community where we can all thrive in our differences. Here are some things people can do more of to embrace equity: customising learning and development programs to the preferences and needs of employees, and ensuring that health benefits focus on equal outcomes, not just processes.” – Mahima Darr, studio assistant

“Whilst women’s rights have come a long way, there’s still work to be done, and that can be overwhelming at times. They feel like insurmountable issues; how can I, as one person, help resolve things like the gender pay gap, violence against women or inequities in healthcare (just to name a few)? I think the only way I can make any kind of difference is by speaking up. Whether it’s sitting next to and helping a woman getting harassed on the tube or signing petitions and funding causes that improve women’s lives, we have to hope that these small moments of action can contribute to bigger societal changes.” – Claire Langer, senior strategist

“By making sure those with inherent societal privileges are speaking for others, not over them. The importance of active listening cannot be overstated in today’s climate.” – Allan Yeung, copywriter intern

“By listening and embracing new perspectives, we’ll unearth a whole heap of valuable knowledge together, that no one person/group will hold. The more we encourage the diversification of our genders, backgrounds and cultural heritage the more we’ll learn, adapt and grow.” – Karun Singh Agimal, design director

“I embrace equity by supporting other women and making sure that they are heard. I can do so by being a listening ear, a voice of support, and a helping hand.” – Ella Tshibambi-Niles, brand designer intern

“By being truthful and making sure everyone has a voice.” – India Dawkins, studio runner

“Listen, lift people up, be an honest ally and strive to leave the world in a better place than you found it.” – Jed Carter, design director

“I think DB does a lot to address the equity issue which is excellent to see after having these kinds of conversations be swept under the carpet in the industry for so long. The question is: is that enough and is it too late? The challenge is that by focusing on equity, other individuals will often have to take a hit to be able to elevate someone else, which can cause tension between individuals or even communities, so we need to find a way to ensure equity for all, rather than making it just a female issue.” – Tassia Swulinska, design director

"It takes time for change to happen. But when we have committed to change at DB we can see and experience the positivity it brings every day. We are not afraid to learn and try to do the right thing. Some of the things I am proud of that have enabled us to create the culture we have today include our commitment to shifting the gender balance to 50/50 and have recruited more women overall in the past 24 months across all areas of the agency and in particular the design and strategy teams. I am lucky to be one of the 3 women on our Senior Management Team who all care deeply about the team and culture. We are bursting with pride for our Intern Academy and have committed to paying our interns during their time with us. This enables people from all backgrounds to enter into the creative industries knowing they will be paid fairly. We’re proud of our diverse team and we learn from each other constantly." – Rachel Bradley, managing director

“There are two ways to go about creating equity, one is passive where you don't get in the way when someone needs it, and one is active, where – you guessed it – you actively create an environment where people can flourish and obviously there are many things you can do here, from empowering an individual when they need or by giving the power a fight.” – Marcel Jacob, strategy director

“Equity, for me, is shaping the environment and situation to best support everyone regardless of their starting point. We need to recognise that people have different needs and abilities and embrace this. I also believe it is what you do when no one is looking that matters.  The consistent and persistent commitment to improve and learn to help support positive change, even when it is tough.” – Simon Dixon, co-founder