Developing An Anti-Racist Workplace

Developing an anti-racist workplace should be your goal for 2021.

2020 was a life changing year.  Coronavirus upended routines, industries, and economies. In the midst of this, the George Floyd protests brought unprecedented global attention to racial inequity in America.  The year culminated with a highly anticipated and contested presidential election in which Black voters helped deliver the election for President Joe Biden, and the first Black, first  Asian and, first female Vice President, Kamala Harris.  

Electing the new administration is seen as a repudiation of racism by the American people. 

 However Black civil rights activists are mindful of all the work that still needs to be done, and vow to continue to push the incoming administration to do more to improve racial equity.  

The Biden/Harris administration has already taken action to improve racial equity in the federal procurement process.  President Biden  also addressed the need to fight white supremacy in his inauguration speech (believed to be the first time that white supremacy has been addressed in an inauguration speech)

Here are some steps that you can take to prioritize an anti-racist workplace.

Provide Clear and Accessible Support Options

For mid to large organizations,  create and support employee resource groups that allow employees to share their experiences and grow together as a team.

Regardless of company size, evaluate what support options you are able to offer to your  employees and ensure that they are visible and available. 

Organizations may have well-thought-out, helpful resources, but, if your employees don’t know about their existence, it’s almost as if they don’t exist. 

Be sure to consider providing independent/third-party resources that help to promote racial equity amongst your employees.  Black Belonging Matters’ Race & Cultural Liaison   service  helps organizations bridge the communication gap that may exist between employees and Human Resources.  

Often times micro-aggression is not addressed in the workplace, either because employees are fearful of reporting same, and/or because Human Resources personnel do not understand why certain actions are deemed aggressive. 

Our Race & Cultural Liaison is a resource for ensuring open communication and understanding between employees and company leaders. 

Craft An Official Anti-Racist Statement

Crafting and disseminating  a formal, anti-racist statement indicates awareness and acknowledgement of systematic racism.

Remaining silent is no longer an option. 

Silence . . . undermines any claims the organization makes that it supports diversity, and it can damage its standing among employees and customers to whom those values are important.”

Outwardly Commit To Diversity

Job seekers need to know your organization is committed to diversity.  Two thirds of job seekers rank diversity as an important factor in their assessment of an organization and, of their assessment of job offers. 

Job seekers are more likely to reject job offers from organizations that fail to provide outward proof of organizational diversity. 

Because of this, it is especially important that organizations ensure that they include visible markers of support for racial equity on their websites, and throughout their advertising.

Run a Racial Injustice Check

The start of the year is a great period for evaluating your organization’s racial equity profile.  If you have the capability, utilize your HR & DEI team to help you analyze data across all departments, which includes examining candidate demographics, salaries, employee turnover, and exit interviews. Compare remuneration, working hours, days-off, and engagement of employees of a different race. 

That can be a long and demanding process, but is integral to racial equity effort both inside of the workplace, and, within society at large. 

If your organization does not have the capability to engage in the analyses needed, Black Belonging Matters is here to help.

Developing an anti-racist workplace should be your goal for 2021.  Failure to do so puts your organization at risk for stagnation or even declining growth.

At Black Belonging Matters, our services  are holistically created to address today’s DEI needs.

As always, we’re here to help, ask us how .