By Esther Marcos, Internal PR Coordinator, Spring 2021
With the recent surge of racial justice initiatives, agencies and companies have felt the pressure to form part of the movement towards equality from their workforce. Yet, after an organization has pledged its alliance and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, does the work stop there? Many social justice activists/professionals are urging employees to push their organizations for more than just public statements. A columnist for The Guardian, Malaika Jabali, expresses how the public can’t remain complacent as “some of y’all getting seats at the table, meanwhile, you’re the decor they prop up on special occasions.” How can the commitment to ally ship become more proactive, not only to serve their employees but to work to remove systemic and societal constructs and barriers?
Here are two things companies should do to be truly be committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
Give Black, Indigenous and people of color guest speakers and professionals the platform to speak.
While companies can publish their sentiments towards the BIPOC community and their struggles, amplifying the stories and experiences of marginalized communities leads to the ambition to listen and learn. Therefore, companies must take the step to create and facilitate authentic dialogue. This can range from panel discussions or allyship trainings/workshops that are required for employees and are open to the public. By increasing conversations about anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, these dialogues become less taboo and the public becomes more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Recruit new talent to gain NEW VOICES.
Many companies must work to have the right internal HR team that welcomes and guides BIPOC candidates. A genuine passion and drive must exist to create truly diverse teams. Thus, recruitment teams must look beyond skin color to build and measure diversity, equity and inclusion. By hiring more BIPOC professionals at all levels, companies create a domino effect where underrepresented communities see leadership that looks like them. It all starts with a team that is committed to the cause.
DEI needs to be a pillar or core value companies actively practice. While there are more ways to implement change, amplifying BIPOC voices and recruiting with passion and drive, is a great place to start. As times change more rapidly, companies must actively move towards bigger and more impactful methods to breaking the cycle of inequality. By fostering and implementing better diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, new and top talent will add value to growing industries. And although the road towards a more equal and equitable world is tough, proactive ally ships from companies and industries will move us closer to our end goal.