Recruiting

What Is Equal Employment Opportunity and Why It Matters?

Ivan Pištingli blog author

Ivan Pištingli

Oct 13th, 2021

Many people holding their hands together

Overview of Equal Employment Opportunity, and the benefits of properly implementing it in any company.

We’ve come a long way as a society in treating and choosing employees, and we strive for fairness and merit-based treatment in the workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) idea has arisen as the golden standard for fair treatment to drive positive change and constantly improve this aspect of the business.

Equal Employment Opportunity is an idea and subsequent requirement under law that all people have the right to receive fair treatment and should not be discriminated against in the workplace and public life. This includes discrimination based on gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and other factors.

There are many laws and regulations that support EEO through anti-discrimination legislation. Therefore, you should be informed about what is required from your business. A good rule of thumb is to strive for equal treatment of all of your employees.

Two people holding hands

Many countries have specific laws in place to reduce the chances of discrimination. And all organizations operating within those countries have to adhere to these laws or face repercussions.

In the European Union, several laws have been passed to ensure fair treatment for all:

  • Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in terms of access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions
  • Directive 2000/43/EC on anti-discrimination
  • Directive 2004/113/EC on implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women regarding the access to and supply of goods and services
  • Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union whose Article 21 prohibits all discrimination including discrimination on the basis of disability, age, and sexual orientation

Other countries might have different regulations, so it is best to check which rules apply and see what is expected.

Many factors are protected by law, including gender, age, disability, race, ethnicity, family or carer’s responsibilities, marital or relationship status, political opinion, pregnancy and breastfeeding, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

This list is constantly expanding with regulations covering new factors to reduce discrimination as much as possible and ensure equal treatment for everyone.

Happy employees working together in a meeting

It’s very easy to see the benefits of EEO. Just listen to some of the stories from places in the world that do not have these regulations, and you will quickly realize why we need them.  Besides, fairness and equality are some of the basic principles that our society is based upon. 

Still, it does not hurt to mention specific benefits for companies that uphold EEO to the highest standard. 

1. Diversity of People Equals Diversity of Ideas
New ideas can come from anywhere. And you get real out-of-the-box thinking when our differences are celebrated and appreciated, and all kinds of people work together in teams. 

2. Employee Motivation and Engagement
Without EEO, employees are more likely to feel overlooked and as if they are missing out, increasing the chance of feeling burnout. This heavily affects their morale and efficiency.

Making sure that everyone feels that they belong and have every opportunity that others have will improve their dedication to the organization. 

3. Good Reputation
A good reputation is critical for success in any business. A company associated with discrimination and mistreatment of its employees will find it challenging to attract new employees. Furthermore, other companies might just refuse to cooperate to avoid associating with such a company.

However, if you make sure that no controversial behavior is happening in your company, word of that will spread. Highly qualified employees will seek you out, and you will have no problem attracting partners and investors.

4. Vast Pool of Talents
Giving opportunities to everyone allows you to find high-quality employees that you would otherwise miss. In addition, including everyone in the hiring pool increases the number of new potential recruits you can choose from, making it more likely to find someone just right for the company.

The benefits of EEO and the consequences of disregarding it are quite clear. Therefore, it should be an easy choice to make.

Dedicating ourselves to improving every aspect of the hiring process means that we need to see what we can do about EEO. Beyond the companies ensuring that EEO laws are upheld, we wanted to give the talent the option of withholding certain non-vital sections of their CV. 

We feel that any personal traits covered in EEO should not need to be hidden. But we wanted to leave this decision to our Talent users if they want to ensure that only their qualifications are considered. 

In the end, it is up to you to decide which of the personal information will be available to your potential employers. 

Happy woman in a park

Equal employment is everyone’s right. However, the companies should be creating a positive environment for all the employees. This elevates productivity, and employees become more efficient and confident in their work. 

With EEO, all people are given equal chances to show their skills and grow together. Meanwhile, companies benefit from their ideas and creativity that they would otherwise miss out on.  

Of course, there is always room for improvement, but that should not stop us from aspiring to better ourselves and our companies. 
Together we can grow stronger.


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