Equality ≠ Equity While sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to understand that equality does not equal equity. This is best demonstrated and explained by referencing the picture below. (Braveman & Gruskin, 2003)

In the image below, the bottom frame represents equality: people of different needs receiving the same resource. Since they all have different needs, it is evident that they all cannot use the resource to their benefit. As you can see, the woman in the wheelchair cannot use the resource effectively. 

The top portion of the image below represents equity: people of different needs receiving resources that fit them specifically. Now, everyone can benefit from the given resource.


  • Equity is giving everyone the amount of resources that they need. Communities that have less, will need more resources. Communities with more resources comparatively should receive less resources.

  • Equality is giving everyone the same amount of resources

Republished from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Office, Virginia Governor's office