Equity Lens

Why an Equity Lens?
The Equity Program, alongside many other Lane County partners and
committees, has developed this tool as one of our levers to better live out our core value of Equity & Respect and to support our work of improving lives. We know intuitively that equity matters, and we know that as Lane County Government we must do better to ensure that our work, in process and product, mirrors the aspirations that we have for our community.

The Equity Lens is like a pair of glasses. It helps us see things from a new
perspective. It helps us be more effective in our everyday work by getting a clearer focus and more complete view. This way, we strive for the full inclusion and participation of all residents and employees so that everyone benefits from a vibrant community. We are all socialized beings with socialized beliefs, and these schemas can sometimes get in our way of seeing a complete picture.

Research shows that companies that value diversity, equity and inclusion are stronger than those that don’t tap into their peoples’ potential. “Diverse teams are more innovative and make better decisions, and diverse companies have better shareholder returns,” according to the study Unrealized Impact. Another study conducted by McKinsey & Company in partnership with The Society for Human Research Management (SHRM), evaluated the performance of companies with different levels of workplace diversity. They found that companies that exhibit gender, ethnic diversity are, respectively, 15 percent and 35 percent more likely to outperform less diverse peers. The same study found that organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers and higher profits.” Studies on neurodiversity by Hult Research show that neurodiverse people bring new perspectives to a company’s efforts to create or recognize value.

We believe the Equity Lens is a powerful tool that can help us change habits that have not served us and our communities. With use and practice, we can transform our work and our impact on the community.

What does it mean to apply an equity lens?
To apply an Equity Lens means we get a pause in time, and most importantly a pause in the process to help us be more inclusive in practice. It can involve a set of questions to prompt our thinking and to shift our process.

In what contexts should we apply an Equity Lens?
An Equity Lens is most important with actions and decisions that have a major impact either internally or externally. There are many contexts in which we can apply an equity lens.

Who should apply an equity lens?
Apply an equity lens if you're in a decision-making role, including county commissioners, leaders, teams, and employees who impact personnel and resources. Also, community partners, consultants, and businesses working with the county should use the lens.

How to access the Equity Lens:
Version 2 (May 2023)

Equity Lens Toolkit Updates (May 2023)
Version 1 (February 2022)

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