Diversity And Inclusion: A Call For Leadership To Combat Racism In The Workplace

posted on August 15, 2020

August 14, 2020

By Josh Schoeller, Forbes

It has been over two months since the killing of George Floyd by police officers in my hometown of Minneapolis that sparked unrest and protests and put a stark spotlight on systematic racism across our country. As the conversation around this topic continues amongst our friends, families and colleagues, we as leaders are compelled to lead the drive for action.

I have felt such grief and anger in the senseless and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others. In our American society and shared humanity, I saw how anger, fear and sadness spread from coast to coast and from community to community across gender, racial and socioeconomic lines. So what can we do to address this and take action? As a start, business leaders should take an active role through both dialogue and action to enact lasting change.

Be aware, reflect, communicate and take action.

Be Aware And Reflect

Leaders have an obligation to support every employee and commit to creating a culture of belonging. In my experience, this means listening first to feel empathy for others. This takes conscious work and the intent to understand symptoms and causes to actively impact situations and outcomes. To do this intentionally, we should gain an understanding of the current diversity landscape within our organizations. Leadership must absorb and reflect to make change matter.

Now, more than ever, we require strength of leadership. While our words and sentiments may not always be perfect, I believe it is our obligation as leaders to be aware of and acknowledge inequalities that exist in our organizations.

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