Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Unlocking Workplace Equity: Insights from HGA's Innovative Research and Actionable Strategies for Positive Change


HGA, a prominent interdisciplinary design firm, embarked on a quest to explore employees' perceptions and experiences of workplace equity, recognizing a gap in the literature that often emphasizes its business implications rather than the individual employee perspective. The Design Insight Group (DIG) at HGA conducted interviews with 19 participants from diverse backgrounds, including BIPOC, hourly employees, and those hired post-March 2020. Participants shared their perspectives on workplace equity, provided suggestions for improvement, and responded to relevant inquiries.
The research had three primary objectives: (a) to establish a definition of workplace equity centered around the employee; (b) to examine the outcomes, facilitators, and obstacles related to workplace equity; and (c) to illustrate, using examples and ideas, how the research findings on enhancing equity could be translated into practical solutions within the physical space, workflow processes, technological resources, and organizational culture of a workplace.
Employing a combination of qualitative research, a literature review, and a co-creation process, the study resulted in a comprehensive and expanded understanding of equity, uncovering key insights. These insights were then transformed into actionable steps through workshops with an interdisciplinary team at HGA, showcasing how they could be applied to support equity within a specific organization.
Throughout the research, three core equity constructs emerged prominently among participants:
Growth: Emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and opportunities for advancement.

Purpose: Interpreted in various ways, including alignment with the company's mission, intellectual stimulation, and revenue generation to fulfill broader life purposes.

Belonging: Extending beyond attachment to the company, focusing on fostering respectful and inclusive social dynamics within the workplace culture.

The use of semi-structured interviews enriched the understanding of workplace equity by humanizing data and facilitating meaningful engagement with employees' lived experiences. This approach led to the development of more effective strategies for positive change.
In conclusion, the research highlights the significance of adopting a nuanced, employee-centered approach to effectively cultivate workplace equity, acknowledging the diverse interpretations of equity across individual and organizational contexts.