Every corporation in the United States suddenly is telling everyone that Black Lives Matter. If you have ever bought anything from a company, or even if a company just has your email address for some reason, you know exactly what we are saying here. You’ve seen the messages in your inbox. You’ve watched the tweets roll across your screen. “Today and every day, Black Lives Matter.” “We stand in solidarity with protestors.” “Let’s make a difference — together.”

Of course, any public expression in support of Black lives is better than none. But make no mistake — customers pay attention to what companies say, but they pay even more attention to what companies do. An outspoken statement against police brutality is excellent, but if it’s the first time your organization has ever taken a stand on this issue, some of your customers are going to think, this is cool and all, but where exactly has this company been for the past five years?

There is not a single individual or organization that has not been impacted by the recent death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white member of the Minneapolis Police Department. George Floyd’s name is the latest in a long, long list of members of the Black community who have been killed by white police officers. …

The majority of us never imagined that we would live through a global pandemic, and the profound effects the coronavirus has had on everyday life, from work to school to social interaction, would have been completely unthinkable less than a month ago. At this point, there is no end in sight to the new, dangerous reality we are living in, and all of that uncertainty leads to a great deal of anxiety and fear.

Fear is the root of all hate, and, unfortunately, the fear around the coronavirus has given rise to new levels of hate specifically directed at one group: Asian Americans. It is the elephant in the room, the one thing no one wants to discuss. Everyone knows that the virus that causes COVID-19 originated in China, in the city of Wuhan. And even though individuals of Chinese descent are no more likely to be carrying the virus than people of other races and ethnicities (and in fact, the country with the greatest number of coronavirus cases and the least contained spread is now actually the United States), multiple news outlets have reported that instances of hateful speech and racially motivated violence against Asian people have increased dramatically over the past few weeks. This vitriol is not just reserved for Chinese Americans, but also Korean Americans, Japanese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and anyone who appears East Asian. …

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In the age of the coronavirus, it may seem absolutely ridiculous to even think about what your company is doing to promote diversity and inclusion in this exact moment. With dwindling revenues, loss of customers, and the panicked scramble to move your entire workforce towards working from home, your company’s commitment to inclusion is probably the last thing on your mind. And we understand that — for the first few days, or maybe even weeks, you are probably going to be in survival mode. …

It is a basic human tendency to be attracted to people, places, and things that are more familiar to us. It goes back to the days when we were both predators and prey, and it was always safer to remain in what was known than to tempt fate with the unknown. It can be difficult for us to override our basic instincts, and there is nothing inherently wrong with feeling more comfortable around familiarity. But in some situations, it can in fact be detrimental to success, particularly in the business world of today.

Research has consistently demonstrated time and time again that the most successful companies and organizations in today’s economy are those that incorporate a diverse variety of viewpoints. And you cannot get a diverse variety of viewpoints without employing a diverse variety of identities — whether that is people of different races, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, nationalities, abilities, religions, you name it. And, of course, in order to get a group of all of these different people working together, you are going to need to not only break out of your own familiar comfort zone, but inspire all of your employees to break out of their own familiar comfort zones as well. …

We have all heard the statistics saying that companies who are taking steps to actively recruit and hire a diverse workforce tend to perform better than companies who do not. And it makes sense if you take the time to think about it: organizations that make it a top priority to draw in talent that accurately reflects the changing demographics of America are certainly more likely to do better within that same America. But there is a critical aspect to hiring a diverse workforce that many companies overlook. Once you have hired employees of multiple races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions, and all of the many other nuanced categories that comprise social identities, you also have to make sure you can keep those employees. …

We all know diversity and inclusion is a hot topic in business today. To be honest, we all know diversity and inclusion is a hot topic everywhere today — discussions of identity have been dominating political discourse, higher education systems have been shifting to accommodate students from diverse backgrounds, and our society as a whole is becoming more and more varied in terms of gender, race, sexuality, nationality, and basically any identity category you can think of. A lot of these discussions around diversity and inclusion have a particular focus on morality: companies and organizations need to become more welcoming to people of all backgrounds because it is the right and just thing to do, and we no longer want to live in a world where women, or Black people, or people identifying as LGBTQ are considered lesser. Of course, this is the ideal to strive towards, and it should be the main motivating force towards any company’s efforts to diversify and promote inclusion initiatives. …

This past week, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Stanford University,
testified in front of the United States Senate regarding Brett Kavanuagh, Donald Trump’s
nominee to fill the Supreme Court Justice seat left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s
retirement this past summer. Dr. Ford stated that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while
both individuals were high school students living in Maryland. Judge Kavanaugh denied the
allegations in his own testimony afterwards.

Those of us who were politically aware in the 1990s may have looked at the image of Dr. Ford
standing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wearing a blue suit, with her right hand
raised, and remembered a strikingly similar image from nearly thirty years earlier: Anita Hill,
another woman, also wearing a blue suit, also raising her right hand to provide sworn
testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hill told the committee that Clarence Thomas,
President George H.W. Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court, had sexually harassed her for
years while she worked for him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. …

There are many reasons why having a diverse workforce is a positive attribute for any company looking to get ahead or stand out in today’s market. But while there is a lot of discussion about how to recruit female employees, employees of color, employees who identify as LGBTQ, employees born outside of the United States, employees with disabilities, employees who are not neurotypical, employees from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, employees who do not practice Christianity, and anyone else who identifies as different from the traditional American ideal of a white businessman who serves as his nuclear family’s main breadwinner, there isn’t a lot of conversation beyond that. To truly have a diverse workforce, your company needs to not only effectively recruit employees who contribute to your company’s diversity, but also retain them. …

September 15th, 2018 officially kicks off this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, which will run until October 15th, 2018. Hispanic employees (who may also self-identify as Latin, Latina, Latino, Latinx, brown, or simply as their ethnic heritage, i.e., Colombian American) continue to be undervalued in today’s workforce. Although our country is currently enjoying the lowest unemployment rate we have ever had for Hispanic people (Hispanic unemployment in August 2018 was only 4.5%), the unemployment rate for Hispanic people is still higher than it is for White people (in August 2018, White unemployment was at 3.4%). And historically, the gap between White and Hispanic unemployment has been as high as 4%. This does not even begin to take into account the income gap between White people and Hispanic people in this country. In 2016, the last year the Census Bureau has data available, the numbers are striking: in the middle bracket of income earners in the United States, a White family’s average annual income was $65,237. A Hispanic family from the same middle bracket would earn on average only $48,106. …



Cutting edge software to manage Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. www.teleskope.io

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