To be quite honest with you, I’m somewhat bewildered.
It’s not that I don’t have an opinion on George Floyd’s death, the related protests and riots, and other similar events of the past week. But, between social media and just plain socializing, I find myself overwhelmed without anything profound or noteworthy to add to the general conversation. And this is isn’t the platform — it’s an employment law blog, folks — from which to preach about such societal matters anyway. I’ll merely say that, hopefully, we can all agree that racism is wrong, and recent events have taught us that we have a long way to go.
Perhaps, your business may be searching for the right words or actions to address racism at work. Because this is an employment law blog, what I can do is provide you with some resources to help businesses combat bigotry. Last night, I came across some useful posts, which I’ll limit to six so as not to inundate you. I hope that you find this list helpful:
- “Protests, Pandemic Create Workplace Stress” from Beth Mirza at SHRM.org includes links to other SHRM resources such as Taking Steps to Eliminate racism in the workplace, 7 Practical Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Process, Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure, Toxic Workplace Cultures Are Costing Employers Billions, and Video: Inclusive Hiring and Civility at Work.
- “U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism” from Laura Morgan Roberts and Ella F. Washington at Harvard Business Review. The authors discuss ways to avoid missteps, take meaningful action, acknowledge any harm that your coworkers have endured, affirm their right to safety and personhood and help them feel protected, and think critically about how you can use your power to effect change.
- If you are looking for inspiration about how to address your workforce, consider taking it from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and GM CEO Mary Barra.
- ‘Things Are Different Now’: General Counsel, Corporations React Publicly to George Floyd’s Death by Phillip Bantz at Law.com, which includes other messages from business leaders following George Floyd’s death.
- 3 ways leaders can lead office conversations on racism, justice from Malia Spencer Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal
- “Lawyers Must Address Racial Injustice With Radical Candor” is a guest post at Law360 from Tiffani Lee, which is notwithstanding the title, can apply to other businesses too. It’s worth reading.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention last Friday’s Zoom chat with Steve Browne, where part of your hour-long discussion focused on emphasizing inclusion.
Have recent events sparked a positive change where you work? I’d like to hear about it. Please email me and let me know.