A lot of effort is being put in to address problems of unequal access and opportunity, and rightly so. I think it is much more difficult to address the problem of unequal expectation.
Where it’s believed that effort will lead to reward, resourcefulness may well overcome many barriers – especially given persistence and time. Without that belief though, without the expectation that things can come good, it’s hard to push forward. This can be a quiet tragedy, particularly as a lot of resources are levelling the playing field in other ways.
An expectation of reward should not be confused with an assumed entitlement. It must recognise that the link between input and output will vary at times and depending on circumstance. Fundamentally though, if there is no feedback mechanism or support that encourages contribution and endeavour, people will inevitably fall short of their potential.