BLM Hashtags and Increasing Black Headcount Won't Fix Your Diversity Problem
Society side-eyed CEO anti-racism statements and brave Black employees challenged white people in positions of power to remove their "rose-colored glasses" as if to say, "Can you see me now?". Black employees have been silenced and arrested by the tone police for far too long and are demanding action, not lip service. No longer can CEOs lip-sync the words to their favorite CDO tune and expect Black people to dance.
The world is watching and rolling their eyes at the thought of the remix to Affirmative Action. Let's be clear; Black people don't want affirmative action. They want employers to educate themselves on biases and inequities that exist (both internally and externally) while intentionally shifting attitudes, behaviors, policies, and practices to become a more inclusive culture.
"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance," Verna Myers.
Before another brand CEO invites themselves to the D&I party and declares similar goals to hire more Black and Brown talent, they first need to practice their dance moves and prime their internal culture to face the music. Census projections show that by 2045, the US will become a "minority white" nation. With Black buying power over $1.2 trillion, companies cannot afford to be a wallflower on the D&I proverbial dance floor.
Here are five tips to developing a robust Black and Brown talent strategy to get things moving:
Fill new leadership and people manager vacancies with Black and Brown talent
Develop and promote Black and Brown employees into leadership positions and backfill their position with diverse hires
Track attrition and develop goals and strategies to increase Black and Brown retention rates
Work to address the experiences of Black and Brown employees and improve survey results
Commit to prioritizing learning and development around intersectionality (i.e., Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans and those with varying abilities)
Faith without work is dead. Relying on PR campaigns without action and accountability is not an option --- Black lives are dependent upon it.