I think it’s time we discuss a common question in our current DEI efforts that I believe is misguided and a disservice to Black women.
What can Black women (or any BIPOC person) do to help their organizations become more inclusive and equitable?
In 2022, I am going to give you a definitive answer. NOTHING.
That question, as asked, encourages Black women to speak up, identify biases, and seek out mentorship … all without acknowledging that the spaces in which Black women operate are inherently unjust and are not crafted to support their presence.
Here’s the real talk: If we are ever going to have inclusive and equitable companies and organizations, Black women and other BIPOC communities have told you what they need. They have shown up and called you in. Black women have learned everything they can to navigate workplaces not built for them to succeed or thrive. In interviews, I have said, “ Black women should no longer be asked to contort themselves to make the workplace better for themselves because the system is broken.”
Put plainly, it is time for corporations and other organizations to fulfill their responsibilities and change the inequitable structures from which they have benefited (and Black women have not).
The Black Women Thriving initiative has taken nearly two years, hundreds of hours of interviews, focus groups, and research, and it’s finally ready for the world to see. We hope that organizations that have (until now) failed Black women in the workplace will take this extensive research, sit with it, reflect, listen, learn and create ACTUAL longstanding change in their structures and culture.
The Black Women Thriving report is more than a research guide — it’s a call to action. It’s the start of a mission to see Black women thrive.
This research and the subsequent recommendations will take time, resources, and a willingness to adopt new policies, practices, and procedures. It will change the way you work.
But it will change it for the better.
Because when Black women have the structures and support to thrive, everyone benefits.
Download the report here.