Everyone wants a system that is fair. The challenge is not with the concept of meritocracy but rather with a lack of evidence to evaluate whether it actually exists in an individual workplace.
If the goal is to build a level playing field, it is important to understand the patterns of career experiences, opportunities and outcomes to consider where action makes sense. Objective external data indicate that the playing field is not level; this research reveals patterns of inclusion and exclusion that impact some groups to a larger degree.
We all face career challenges but there are additional barriers that can make it more challenging for some groups of people to be on equal footing. DEI initiatives are not an “extra” boost for the less qualified but about adjustments that need to be made in order to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace.