The Truth Behind Equal Opportunity and What It Really Stands For

A lot of people mistake equal opportunity as treating everyone the same. They believe that equal opportunity means that the benefits given to one person should also be given to another. This is a rather simplistic way to describe equal opportunity, but the reality is that it’s not quite as easy to describe.

What equal opportunity really means is treating everyone according to their individual needs and interests. This means that everyone is given an equal opportunity to reach their desired potential or position. The line between the two definitions can be blurred or thin, so here are some examples.

  • Stereotypes should not be welcome in society and each individual should be based on their own attributes, not that of their racial group, gender or upbringing.”

  • Inappropriate behavior and attitude should be challenged especially if it hinders or limits one’s progress in society.

  • Wages should be based on an employee’s skills and role, not their protected status.

  • Performance should be the main factor when it comes to advancement in the workplace and factors such as parental leave should not be used as discrimination.

  • Support should be given to those who have trouble communicating due to language barriers or other conditions.

  • Inclusive practices need to be evaluated for effectiveness instead of being used solely for the benefit of publicity.

Below, we’ve included an infographic that shows how women are being given more equal opportunities in the military, an area that has historically been dominated by men.


Infographic design by Norwich University

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