How a homogeneous profession has shaped our workplaces and what we need to do about it

I woke up Tuesday to yet another trending news story about a white woman calling the police on an innocent black man. This time, Amy Cooper, a white professional New York resident was violating the dog leash rules for a popular birding spot in Central Park, when an avid bird watcher, approached. Christian Cooper (no relation) asked Amy to leash her dog, and that is when the familiar scene unfolded.


Racism isn’t something that can be solved overnight, it will take both courage and stamina. This is a marathon, not a sprint. That being said, you can take action RIGHT NOW to create an anti-racist workplace

#1 | Reach out to all your Black staff and find out what they need in this moment

This moment is surfacing multi-generational trauma for many Black Americans. This is an opportunity to offer tangible support from your organization (this could be mental health support, time off, etc.) After reaching out to Black folk, extend the conversation to all staff of color.

#2 | Communicate how staff can hold you accountable to commitments

We’ve seen a lot of companies issuing public statements about their commitment to anti-racism. Your organization may have made or…


How to center dignity and humanity in times of crisis

Layoffs are going to happen, and unfortunately for a lot of organizations, they need to happen in order to survive. Unfortunately, most will be done brutally, unthoughtfully, and impersonally. This is because we do not train people to end relationships. When it comes to layoffs, what we often prioritize most is efficiency.


In a matter of weeks, the way most of us work has significantly shifted. Even if the Novel Coronavirus hasn’t sent your organization’s staff to work from their dining room tables, it may mean you are working long shifts in potentially high-risk situations, working in locations you did not expect, or in many cases, not working at all.


It is not uncommon for clients to ask me, “where should I post my open position if I want a candidate of color to apply?”


Let me first start by saying I love being an HR professional. I love the insight that the profession gives you into a company and it’s employees. But as HR people know, this insight can often be a double-edged sword. Instead of being coaches we often become referees, instead of ambassadors of our organization, we become law enforcement to policy and procedure.

But how do we prevent that? How do you keep from becoming the department of “no,” and more importantly, keep yourself from becoming the “principal’s office” that everyone avoids? Below are five mindset shifts that I have…


Photo Credit: Mwangi Gatheca

The end of the year, while we sip our peppermint mocha’s and wrap those regifted peach candles, is often the time we reflect on the year that was. This season is no different for me.


What organizations are getting wrong about a workplace transparency and what you can do right

I read a fantastic article this week about the importance of thinking broadly when considering moving towards pay transparency. The writer argues that open compensation programs can come in many forms. She argues that organizations often feel they have two choices when it comes to pay transparency, share everyone’s full salary or share nothing at all. The author’s argument is that this type of black and white thinking is extremely limiting and wholly inaccurate, there are so many options available in the gray space between.


Networking events as we know them are dying, and I am here for it.

Networking is a great way to get access to jobs, people, and information. But not all professional networks are created equal. How robust and relevant your professional network is, often correlates to the amount of privilege in society you hold.

  1. White People have white social networks: 75% of white people have an entirely white social network. …


How HR Professionals Can Use Design Thinking To Transform Their Company and Career

A Design Thinking In HR Workshop in Austin, TX

A few years ago I found the world’s cutest mug. It had a little pug on the front, was large and perfect for drinking tea on a cozy Sunday. It was about 10 minutes after using that mug, tea all down my shirt and my fingers squished into an impossibly small handle, that I threw it out. “Who the hell designed this thing,” I said when I tossed it into the trash bin.

Katie Augsburger

Writer, Speaker, Mom, and Partner at Future Work Design

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