Racial Equity Work Requires More Than Changes to Hiring
Organizations and industries attempting to reach racial equity have been focusing on increasing diversity in the workforce. Although well-intentioned, the practice is inadequate when fighting systemic racism and is merely the first step of many that are required to start seeing progress. Racial equity is when an individual’s race bears no prediction on their socioeconomic outcomes and everyone has the same opportunities for success, regardless of skin color or cultural background.
Organizations subscribe to the misguided belief that increasing racial diversity in the workplace will lead to a trickling-up system that will eventually lead to increased representation in positions of management, decision-making, and government. However, this ideology fails to address the systemic racism and labor exploitation of people of color in society, which results in racially diverse workers still having to fight against unfair disadvantages within a workplace, despite the initial hiring.
Even with a more diverse workforce, racial equity cannot be achieved without having those in society — who are most negatively impacted by racial inequality — in a position of control over the creation of practices and policies that have a direct effect on their lives. Traditional corporate hierarchies and existing management levels that are still predominantly White do not allow for this, and People of Color in the workplace are being managed without representation.
Racial equity requires a more revolutionized overturning of the policies and attitudes that reinforce differences in societal outcome based on race. Organizations should be looking into different ways to implement anti-racist policies in the workplace that advance the progression toward racial equity.
The Benefits of Racial Equity
Racial equity promises a society where one’s skin color and cultural background have no impact on societal opportunities and outcomes. With no racial inequity limitations, every person will have access to an infrastructure designed for them to thrive and reach their potential. With an increased number of people in the workforce able to fulfill their potential, individual businesses and the overall economy will see improvements.
In the photo: Meeting near window. Photo Credit: Unsplash.
Preferable Racial Equity Strategies
1. Adopt corporate racial equity goals.
Racial equity goals in the workplace for career development can be implemented with effective strategies on how to achieve them. Instead of perpetuating disparities, organizations can keep track of their progress toward closing equity gaps by setting up processes that enforce it. Properly designed systems will provide opportunities for People of Color while highlighting the barriers and hindrances that are currently in place.
2. Invest in infrastructure.
Organizations that are meeting equity goals should be supported with guidance and training to ensure that future efforts are consistently addressing the reduction of the equity gap.
3. Provide support services for people of color.
Invest in services that support the education and training of People of Color. The historically higher levels of poverty and lower wage levels for People of Color have created a distinct wage gap. This has a direct and significant impact on educational attainment because there are fewer financial resources available that are required for young people to continue higher levels of education.
A world that provides equal opportunity for every individual regardless of race will benefit all. Not only will this have a positive impact on the economy, it also will provide a more just society. Racial equity will not come about by accident; it requires the active participation of governments, organizations, and the public to work to enforce it.
In the Cover photo: Tablet. Photo Credit: Pexels.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com.