I am a white, privileged CEO. I benefit from a system that was built to help people that look like me to succeed. A system that harms, discriminates against, and under-represents my colleagues with a different skin tone.
Earlier this week, while feeling a knot in my gut about what to say to my company about institutionalized racism and injustice, I watched the George Floyd video once again. This time, I was struck by the inaction of the other officers on the scene. I felt, and feel right now, a wave of shame and sadness wash over me as I realize my historic inaction on this issue, and thus my contribution to the problem.
Black Lives Matter.
To my colleagues of color, I know that I will never understand. But I will continue to educate myself, and I will continue to use my position, of power and privilege, to call out injustice when I see it and amplify the voices of those that are educated to speak on this subject.
To my colleagues that are not People of Color, we who have stood on the sidelines for far too long, the time has passed for another hashtag or empty promise. The changes that we must make cannot be a one time conversation, but rather a lasting commitment to address these systemic inequities, and use our privilege and our voices to uproot a system that was made for us. I’m going to share my commitments as a CEO, and some actions that we all can take.
At WorkBright, I commit that:
- Everyone on our team will annually participate in a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training.
- Each new hire will receive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training as part of their onboarding experience.
- Each Manager will additionally participate annually in a full day Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training that is focused on removing bias from hiring and diversifying our workforce.
- For new hires, by the end of this year, we will have a measure of the makeup of the customer base we serve and will require an applicant pool at least that diverse before any hiring decision is made.
- We will annually audit our results in these areas, and listen deeply to feedback and take action on an ongoing basis.
Are you wondering where you as an individual who is not a Persons of Color can start? Here are 75 things that we can do now that can begin to move us from passive bystanders, to active participants in the solution.
Onward- together we stand!