With the recent protests that have taken over the streets of America, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, more and more business owners are trying to see how they can take a stand against systematic racism. It takes more than just a post on social media. It is about action to encourage change in the right direction.
Taking a Stand against Racism
Most of them look to meetings, decision, and perhaps a poster supporting diversity and tolerance, but as the world has seen time and again over the years that this approach simply will not work.
As the world changes around us, perhaps it is time that businesses change along with it.
So, what can you, the business owner, do in order to combat racism in the workplace?
Reach Out to Your Employees of Color
After all, there is no better way to understand what the problem is than talking to those most affected by the issue. You might think you run a pretty tight ship, but you’d be surprised to discover what might be going on when you’re not looking or on-site.
So, speak with your employees in private, and see what they have to say. Even more, ask them how they would change the office policy to support diversity.
The chances are good they’ve thought about how to take a stand against systemic racism more than once in their lives. So, see what their ideas for doing so, starting today. What can you implement, and how can you do so?
Next, Talk with Your Connections
It’s all good and well if the people working in your office and directly for your brand aren’t racist, but what about your business partners? Or the agencies that work for you? Do you have any real idea what the situation is like over there?
Then, ask. If you are in a position to make demands of your business partners or affiliates, then do so. Insist that they have a diverse staff. If they value your business, they’ll be likely to comply.
When You Stand Against Racism: If You’ve Got it, Flaunt it
It’s really important that you employ people of all colors and genders, but, really, unless people know that you do that, it won’t have the desired effect. By showing off your diverse team, you give others hope.
Think about it from a different perspective. If a brand is exclusively white males, then that’s not really fair, is it?
There might be plenty of people of color or women who’d like to be on that team. But if no one outside the company knows what the situation is, then it’s impossible to change it, isn’t it?
Being transparent with your own data forces other brands to do the same with theirs, and that is how you truly address a problem.
Remember that Racial Equality isn’t Only Now
With the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, it’s all too easy to focus on black problems in the workplace while the issue is in the headlines. But it’s important to continue to uphold equality and take a stand against racism into the coming, weeks, months, and years. In other words, always.
Also, look at the treatment of people of Latino, Indian or Asian descent within your organization. Are there gender disparities too? Fighting injustice in the workplace starts now.
In the end, it’s about giving anyone, regardless of race or gender, a fair chance.