EX Roundup: Get the resources your company needs to address race equity at work

June 24, 2020by Katie WagnerLeadership and StrategyEmployee EngagementThe EX Roundup

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The death of George Floyd and resulting protests have jump-started much-needed dialogue and action within companies regarding racial equity—in particular to support Black employees. To encourage this effort, we have curated a list of articles from different perspectives to help educate companies on how to make real change within their organization.

And since we’re a creative agency, we also wanted to use this platform to share an important website that highlights inspiring Black designers in the industry to help organizations diversify in their search for talent: Blacks Who DesignWe’ve seen a collective spirit emerging to tackle racial injustice at the company level, especially in the marketing and advertising industry. Allyship & Action is a great example of how to build a community that works together to assemble effective and actionable steps that organizations can take to be more authentic and transparent allies.

Key Takeaways

  • For far too many Black employees, external and internal company commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion don’t reflect their actual experience. Organizations must listen and change so that company actions align with its statements.
  • Employers will have to put in the work to learn and think deeply about how they can reform their workplace dynamics to better advocate for and uplift diverse talent. They must commit to pursue racial equity and continually follow up as time progresses.
  • A key part of allyship is listening to underrepresented voices. Until leadership can truly empathize and act on what they’ve learned, their commitments are empty—and we all must learn to listen to voices different than our own if we ever truly wish to empathize, learn and change.

Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism or Just Talking About It?—Harvard Business Review, Kira Hudson Banks and Richard Harvey @HarvardBiz
“If your organization takes a stand against racism, you must also articulate how progress will be tracked and communicated back company-wide. Otherwise, you look untrustworthy and disingenuous. There’s no need for shame or guilt if your results are not glowing or swift. What has been given years to root will not be unearthed overnight.”

5 Ways to Approach Racial Equity at Work—PBS, Courtney Vinopal @NewsHour @cglennvino
“James added that managers and supervisors should think about how they can give their employees of color space to process the traumatic events—in both the short and long term—as they move forward. On the short term, for example, they can be more flexible with granting employees leave. In the long run, they should think about how they can ‘root out and eliminate the manifestations of structural racism’ in their office by supporting and promoting employees of color, diversifying their boards, and bringing in experts specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion to help them in doing so.”

One Black employee’s answer to “How can I help?—Culture Amp, Alicia Forneret @CultureAmp
“Yes, things are painful, political, and stressful right now. But many of us still have to go to work anyway. Acknowledging the pain is important, but so is helping people continue to grow their careers in the midst of crisis. You might have to lay people off tomorrow. You might be able to give people a huge promotion at the end of this. Regardless, the further Black people can get today will directly impact how we’re able to access career opportunities in this uncertain future (and make up for opportunities we’ve missed or been denied along the way).”

5 Thoughtful Ways to Approach Discussing Racism at Work—Fast Company, Dynasti Hunt @FastCompany
“In organization-wide meetings, team meetings, and even individual conversations, once you’ve acknowledged what’s happening, don’t just leap into a discussion. It is important that you ask if Black people (not white people) if they would like further discussion space or not as not everyone is comfortable, ready, or simply wants to discuss at work. Plus, think of it this way: If you are a Black person who has eight meetings in a day and every meeting automatically opens with discussion, think about how exhausting and burdensome that can be.”

How to Improve Intercultural Relationships at Work: Five Ideas for Leaders—Forbes, Jeremy Pollack @Forbes
“Every Friday or the first Friday of the month, one individual brings in food for the entire team or department to share. The food is relevant to that individual’s personal background, and before eating, they talk briefly about where they first ate this type of food, who taught them to make it, a story about it from their family or culture, and what it means to them.”

This is an excerpt from Dispatch X—Your Go-To Consolidated Source for Brand Experience, Employee Experience and Customer Experience.
In this month’s edition, we’ve curated a list of resources on what organizations are doing to make real, lasting change at work, in store and through brand messaging.

Katie Wagner

Katie’s passion and experience in building authentic brands has enabled her to serve in a trusted agency-side role as part practice lead, part agency team leader and overall strategic advisor. She draws on her diverse background to ensure that the agency is doing the right work in support of culture design and employee experience, so that it resonates with her clients’ brand objectives and positively impacts their employees, customers and business.