After the tragic death of George Floyd set off a chain reaction in the world, particularly in the Black Lives Matter movement, Outmatch brought together a panel of experts to speak about racial injustice in corporate America. Aaliyah Haqq from the Center for Workforce Excellence, EWF President Jennifer Carter, and James Pogue, diversity consultant and coach, look at the work that must happen inside ourselves, what leaders of companies can do to uproot systemic problems, and how to align the “head, heart, and hands” to drive real, meaningful change.
Watch the 9 min recap here: How to Make DE&I the Fabric, Stop Avoiding, And Get More Leaders On Board
Originally Recorded: Thursday, June 25th, 11:00AM CDT
Top takeaways from the webinar:
1. It’s a great time to teach and to learn and to grow together – at our own pace. Wherever you are in your diversity journey is ok, but staying where you are is not ok (6:30).
2. Commitment to this isn’t about doing something for 2 weeks or a quarter. It’s about changing the guts of your organization. It’s a time for courageous leaders to jump out and do the unknown. With help (14:30).
3. Systemic racism is the result of a variety of things. We weren’t taught that variety of things. You’re being asked to learn something that’s very difficult, very emotional, and something that’s been hidden from us as learners. Recognize that it’s going to be a hard journey (18:30).
4. As a society, we’ve agreed that white men are leaders. Collectively, we don’t see anyone else as a leader. That won’t change until we start to deconstruct and dismantle the idea that whiteness is the measure or standard of excellence (23:00).
5. Leaders often say, “this is great, and we want things to be better,” but then retreat to the hard metrics. They see diversity as squishy and scary and hard to measure, and so it’s separate. What we’re saying here is, it’s the same. It’s intimately connected to your business’ ability to be flourishing in 5 years, and it must be presented as a business imperative (28:30).
6. Instead of letting fear stop you, interrogate the nature of the fear. Ask yourself, what is it you’re really afraid of? Doing it wrong – ok, what‘s underneath that? Are you afraid people will judge you? Think you’re racist? That your career will be impacted? Name it and unpack it, because emotional intelligence is crucial for D&I initiatives (37:00).
7. Making diversity part of the fabric involves listening, focus groups, getting experts, educating yourself, and looking in the mirror. Be honest with yourself about what you’re accepting as diversity. We’ve got to think differently, we’ve got to do more, and we’ve got to act faster (55:00).