The Case for Diversity Has Been Made. Let’s Move Past It: raceAhead

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People are unsatisfied with the changes being made towards diversity and inclusion.

That’s according to Kelly Grier, EY’s U.S. chairman and managing partner and Americas managing partner, who spoke during a panel at today’s Most Powerful Women Summit in D.C.

“Let’s stop admiring the problem,” says Grier. “The data is overwhelmingly compelling. This is not a new discovery that [diversity and inclusion] produces differentiated outcomes.”

Diversity champions like her discussed how to move beyond simply making the case for diversity, towards effective action.

Moving forward, there needs to be a shift, says Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley, to have real impact: in intentionality, accountability, and sustainability.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion initiatives, many industries—like the financial service industry, for instance—have approached them with a “bull market strategy.”

“When things are really great, lots of money, lots of focus, lots of spotlight” is placed into diversity and inclusion, said Harris. But a shift in the market and “the intensity goes from 10 to one, and that’s when you lose your pipeline.”

Here’s how some companies are keeping up the momentum on diversity and inclusion:

  • At Salesforce, explains Ana Recio, executive vice president of global recruiting, “we’re really on a journey where we’re trying to move from equality to equity.” And that requires considerable awareness—and a focus on “belonging.” Creating that experience of “belonging” not only helps attract talent, but retain them.
  • But, these efforts require making it “organic,” says Kathi Vidal, Managing Partner, Silicon Valley, Winston & Strawn. “We need to make sure that all of us are living and breathing this. That when we wake up in the morning we’re thinking about how to support and sponsor other people.” And that requires engaging everyone, at every level.
  • And that’s why Intel created a “warmline”—an online channel—for employees to voice concerns, on any topic, and offer an opportunity for the company to address it, says Barbara Whye, chief diversity officer and vice president of human resources for that company’s Technology, Systems Architecture, and Client Group. A common issue for employees, she says, are a “manager-employee connection” that is “not happening as it should,” and a “lack of progression.”
  • For Johnson & Johnson, says Wanda Bryant Hope, the company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, there’s “an inclusion index” to address that disconnect. It offers an opportunity for employees to determine whether their direct managers are, in fact, “leading inclusively.”
  • Tamara El-Waylly

    Ellen McGirt curated and wrote the blurbs in this edition of raceAhead.

    On Point

    Have we reached a turning point for racism and soccer? While the answer is likely to be no (I mean, right?), experts are finding reason to believe that England soccer fans and authorities have just experienced a solid, maybe, in the form of "a potentially seismic moment in the sport's struggle with racism." An English team walked off the pitch during an FA Cup match, one of the most prestigious in tournament play, to protest racist abuse from fans. It’s an unprecedented move. "Football has conditioned fans as well as players into believing that the way to beat racist abuse is to play on, complete the game, win the game emphatically," a journalist/expert Darren Lewis tells CNN. The move is a new standard, he says. “[W]e should not, in 2019, be sending young, black men into any situation where they should expect racial abuse."

    Hate crime reports have doubled in England and Wales While the reports have increased in the last five years, authorities are seeing a change in the types of crimes being committed. While the majority of hate crimes are hate based, crimes against transgender people increased by 37% last year alone, along with a marked rise in sexual orientation and disability hate crime. The uptick is explained in part by better reporting. Authorities noted spikes in reports after specific events, like the Brexit vote, and the terror attack in 2017. While half of religious hate offenses were against Muslim people, the number of crimes against Jewish people appears to have doubled last year.
    The Guardian

    There’s an epidemic of rape in Indigenous communities According to a Newsy investigation called A Broken Trust, some one-third of Native American and Alaska Native women can expect to be raped in their lives, but few will find justice. Of the many issues in play is a lack of coordination between tribal and federal justice authorities, compounded by, if I may, a complete lack of everyone else caring. "Native women have told me that what you do when you raise a daughter in this environment is you prepare her for what to do when she's raped—not if, but when," said Sarah Deer, University of Kansas professor and author.
    USA Today

    Emmett Till’s memorial is now bulletproof A memorial for Emmett Till, the Chicago teen who was brutally murdered by white supremacists in 1955, has been vandalized repeatedly over the years. Last July, the sign was removed after a photo of three white University of Mississippi students was posted standing next to it with guns. Well, it’s back, and now it’s in a bulletproof form. It is made of steel. It weighs 500 pounds. It is over an inch thick. And Huffpost reporter and #BlackObituaryProject founder Ja’han Jones happened to catch the moment when two Black Ole Miss students carried the old, bullet-riddled memorial across campus and lay it to rest at the base of a confederate monument. He posted a video on Twitter. “The message from the students carrying the sign is that both the desecrated sign and the confederate monument belong to the same tradition of racist terrorism, and their righteous act of linking them in this way cannot be undone. Ever,” he tweeted. “Salute to them.”
    New York Times

    On Background

    Even classical sculpture is racist You know those majestic Green and Roman figures that grace the halls of many a classic museum? Cold white marble, thousand-yard stare? Turns out they were painted, with costumes, in often exuberant, even campy colors and with pigments that reflected their varied skin tones. While the practice of scrubbing sculpture remnants of any traces of color has gone on for ages, it’s one that is being revisited now. For one thing, it calls into question the nobility of the era. (One aggrieved art historian said a color-corrected statue of Emperor Augustus looked “like a cross-dresser trying to hail a taxi.”) But for another, it was the adoption of the ancient aesthetic by white supremacy group Identity Evropa, that caused Sarah Bond, a classics professor at the University of Iowa, to challenge the way institutions presented the sculpture. Her essays, describing the way the art was originally presented, has earned her hate mail.
    New Yorker

    The many misconceptions about coming out at work This piece from HBR outlines seven, but the main one is clear: Not everyone who is “out” at work is out to everybody. The research, which surveys professionals in Australia, finds that the number of people who keep their identity hidden from some people is more dramatic there (68%), but research suggests some 46% of workers in the U.S. are only partially out at work. Here’s another myth worth considering: LGBTQ+ people don’t, in fact, have control of when and to whom they share their identities. From the research: "Some individuals are outed against their will, while others are forced to come out because of workplace policies."

    Here are some questions to ask as you’re touring colleges with your already nervous pre-freshperson Debra Mashek, a psychology professor and executive director of Heterodox Academy, an independent academic consortium that promotes viewpoint diversity in higher education, offers six intriguing questions to ask as your family shops for a college that actually welcomes diversity of thought. You don’t need to get a completely informed answer to get a sense of what the culture is like. Just give something simple a go: Are the professors open to differing opinions? Are students welcome to share their views even if others might disagree? But one really stood out to me: How often do students of different political orientations host events together?

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    “Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” 

    Rev. Jesse Jackson

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