Equal opportunityEqual opportunity is a descriptive term for an approach intended to give equal access to an environment or benefits, such as education, employment, health care or social welfare to members of various social groups, some of which might otherwise suffer from discrimination. This can involve hiring and other practices. Major social groupings involved are those delineated by aspects of gender, race, or religion.
Equal opportunity practices that are race-blind or gender-blind may be distinguished from practices that involve or require affirmative action. The United States requires affirmative action in many cases; other countries make any such action illegal.