No, not the type on a Balance Sheet.
I was recently at a workshop on diversity and inclusion, and I learned something new.
Equity does not equal Equality.
I should have known that because Equity doesn’t always equal the Assets on a Balance Sheet.
Balance Sheet Education 101:
Total Assets (everything you own) EQUALS (=) Total Liabilities (everything you owe) PLUS (+) Equity OR MINUS (-) Deficit (if you owe more than you own).
There’s no equality in that equation!
This dawning of realization has had a profound impact on me, and today on International Women’s Day, I feel like I have to shout Eureka! (yes again – it helps that I have Taylor Swift playing in the background and a resolve not to do laundry or clean the toilets on my parenting free day).
Why is this realization so exciting for me? Well, it’s been a bit of a theme in my life these days.
Lately, people have begun asking me if I work exclusively with women in my business, and this has been quite a difficult question for me to answer because it’s not my intention only to help women.
People have also asked me what it is I do in my line of work. My standard answer is that I clarify financial information. I am a communication hub for my clients when they work with each other, the CRA, and their divorce team (and I file tax returns – that’s another theme these days!)
Today, when I combined all these thoughts floating around in my head, I realized that what I mainly do is make sure everyone that I’m working with is starting from the same place around the information that they need. I am creating Equity for my clients.
And it just so happens that the majority of my clients who need help being brought up to that equitable level so that they can participate in the discussions that impact their lives are women. Family law, tax law, and current public policy arose in the same society that contributed to the inequity in which we find ourselves.
I think our current world-wide community has not benefited men any more than women. I see that inequity in our society along all lines (not just gender) has led to suffering the world over. I have yet to work with a client, of any gender, who thinks that they achieved a better outcome than their spouse in a separation process.
I want to help children grow up in a society that respects and values them for who they are. A society that thrives on the combined strengths of all.
So how do we get to an equitable society? Well, while it’s clear to me that the world hasn’t figured this out yet, I see that we are heading in the right direction because there is an International Women’s Day, Pride Week, and many other celebrations of Diversity in our World.
I will also say that I am grateful for all these celebrations. I hope they allow the people that they represent to find their voice so that they can speak out their strengths. I know in the case of International Women’s Day, it did just that for me.