In her latest post in the Harvard Business Review, Professor Laura Morgan Roberts and Ella Washington partner to write an concise, precise and useful road map that organizations can use to support their black employees, and create lasting changes in the diversity and inclusion space.
While conventional diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives focus on employee engagement and belonging, today’s challenges reach far beyond marginalization in the workplace. We now see and hear Black people who are suffering from the weight of dehumanizing injustice and the open wound of racism that has been festering for centuries.
…The psychological impact of these public events — and the way it carries over into the workplace — cannot be overstated. Research shows that how organizations respond to large-scale, diversity-related events that receive significant media attention can either help employees feel psychologically safe or contribute to racial identity threat and mistrust of institutions of authority. Without adequate support, minority employees are likely to perceive their environments as more interpersonally and institutionally biased against them. Leaders seeking to create an inclusive environment for everyone must find ways to address these topics.
Roberts and Washington outline three crucial missteps for organizations to avoid and provide three critical steps for organizations to take, namely to acknowledge, affirm, and then act.