HUE, a nonprofit organization that amplifies people of color to support career paths in marketing, released their inaugural report, State of Inequity: Unsafe, Unseen, and Unheard. As we continue in the great "diversity hire" era, the report offers a harsh look at the systemic challenges Black and brown employees continue to experience after their first day.
According to HUE’s State of Inequity Report:
More than 75% report a lack of meaningful progress on building a more equitable environment for employees of color.
50% of black employees report their employers have no diversity and inclusion resources whatsoever.
Nearly 80% report a lack of instituting racial awareness training.
So what can leaders and employees in predominantly white organizations do to address these statistics head on? There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer for every company, but there are a few things that must be tackled to cultivate a workplace where all members are more than present, they belong.
Pop the bubbles. It’s important to know the difference between hiring BIPOC to add into the diversity percentages and actually celebrating their full persons within the dominant culture. BIPOC employees should not have to abandon what makes them unique to feel included. The opposite of exclusion is infusion and it must be championed by the dominant culture alongside minority employees. All efforts to hire more black and brown people are just insulting forms of performative allyship if you're not willing to dismantle exclusivity within the internal culture.
While intentional DE&I work is a journey, that does not mean we shouldn’t keep up the pace. Keep checking in with your BIPOC employees beyond initial onboarding. Don't assume you know what they need and do the work to remain conscious of the unique challenges they face as minorities without centering yourself. Think about it like this; if the events of last summer never happened, would you have ever addressed your own biases and how they translate to your co-workers? The DE&I work that promotes the deepest change is what you continue to do when the hype is long gone.
Here at Hotwire, we are no different than any other company that needs to hold themselves accountable in their DE&I efforts. We are committed to full transparency in not only working toward building a more diverse team, but also fostering a culture of inclusion, and driving positive, lasting change to address systemic inequality. For further details on the efforts made, you can read more here.
All efforts to hire more black and brown people are just insulting forms of performative allyship if you're not willing to evaluate the exclusivity of the internal culture.