Imagine this…you are 1 of the 7 Black people within your organization out of roughly 400 others, the only one in a leadership position, leading an entire function and yet, you are seen as an afterthought when it comes to having an opportunity to take a seat at the table. Marinate on this for a moment, and then consider that while discussions around Diversity, Inclusion and Equity within many workplaces have increased since the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, there is still a need for many organizations to take a step back and evaluate the actual action(s) they are taking to change.
I’m reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words when he says,
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”
The will to change is one that requires an intention and what I’d call, ‘An Intentional effort to change’. It goes beyond words and simply saying you care or that you’re an ‘ally’, is not enough. I call for a moment of reflection in which organizations begin to address questions such as:
- How are we, as a company, creating space (a safe space) for minorities and historically underrepresented people/groups, to be a part of the conversation?
- How are we, as a company, making room in our comfortable, often homogenous teams for someone who is different or what’d I’d call, ‘An acquired taste to the corporate norm’?
- How are we, as a company, advocating for those that no matter how loudly they may speak often go unheard?
To take it a step further, once companies have begin asking questions that seek to go beneath the surface, I’d then encourage them to ask what actions can we take to change the historical decisions, systems, policies, etc.?
It’s no cake walk nor is anything in life; however, if not now then when? Waiting for the right moment or time is no longer an option.