Racism isn’t something that can be solved overnight, it will take both courage and stamina. This is a marathon, not a sprint. That being said, you can take action RIGHT NOW to create an anti-racist workplace.
#1 | Reach out to all your Black staff and find out what they need in this moment
This moment is surfacing multi-generational trauma for many Black Americans. This is an opportunity to offer tangible support from your organization (this could be mental health support, time off, etc.) After reaching out to Black folk, extend the conversation to all staff of color.
#2 | Communicate how staff can hold you accountable to commitments
We’ve seen a lot of companies issuing public statements about their commitment to anti-racism. Your organization may have made or be making internal commitments and plans, too. Take prominent personal accountability for this work, and share how you will communicate progress.
#3 | Earmark budget to support equity efforts
If you’re not backing up your commitment with dollars, it will be hard to take you seriously. This is a long term priority and requires long term investments. Priorities of this magnitude should be prominent in your budget and long term financial planning.
#4 | Get data
Many organizations are unclear as to “were to begin” when it comes to becoming an anti-racist org. A helpful place to start is to look at patterns and trends. Though it will take time to review this data, start the gathering process
- Schedule a large scale compensation review of your staff. How are staff paid in the same or similar roles?
- Ask your HR department to pull the promotion rates of black and brown employees compared to white employees. How long do staff of color work in their roles before a promotion, compared to white staff? Promotion rates tell us a lot about how you retain and grow your staff
- Ask your HR department for a termination report for the last five years in your organization. Identify any trends in the demographics of those that left your organization, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Do you have BIPOC leaving from some departments at higher rates than others?
#5 | Commit to the journey and hire a guide
Hire an external partner (not part of the internal reporting structure) to assess your organization and provide clear recommendations specific to your organization. Work with partners led by BIPOC, who are able to provide guidance on multiple aspects of the work to dismantle anti-blackness including strategy, organizational change, HR policy, and personal awareness — not just “diversity” training. Before hiring them, ask about the demographics of their ownership.
That’s the sprint. When you’re ready for the marathon, we’ve assembled resources to help you: download the Workplace Equity Kit.
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