Following the events of May 2020 and the international attention, Black Lives Matter gained, several companies unveiled their initiatives for addressing interpersonal and institutional racism. Part of their action plans was to hire and retain more employees from under-represented groups.
About a year and a half later, a number of companies took BAME stakeholder engagement seriously, and they have made great gains in hiring more Black people into entry-level positions. However, advancing Black employees from middle management into more senior positions proved to be more challenging, even for the largest companies.
So what can you do as a diverse and inclusive employer to hire more Black professionals in senior roles?
Let’s take a look at four steps, we recommend your company takes.
Even if your hiring team has the best intentions, unconscious bias is sometimes difficult to overcome. It can have a big impact on everyone’s decisions, especially when it comes to recruitment and promotion.
A diverse hiring panel can help mitigate the impact of any individual unconscious bias and create an equitable environment for everyone. But having a diverse hiring team isn’t always possible. In this case, consider working with people, who feel comfortable talking about race and race-related issues.
People who are involved in the hiring process, need to understand and take seriously the challenges that non-white employees deal with.
According to Ellis Cose, a critically acclaimed journalist and bestselling author, Black professionals who aspire to climb the corporate ladder prefer to remain silent and avoid talking about race and inequality in the workplace.
The lack of discussion related to race, however, can make them feel undervalued in the long run. To make your employees feel comfortable and not discriminated against, you need to create a safe space at work so that they know that all experiences and opinions matter.
Having a clear and transparent diversity strategy in place is essential – especially if your company has few or no Black people in senior leadership roles.
Your diversity strategy can tell a lot about your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. When prospective candidates see that your strategy includes data, metrics, and targets, they know that you have serious goals and you’re committed to achieving them.
Apart from having a clear and transparent diversity strategy, you can make progress measurable by actively involving mid-level managers in your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Mid-level managers should have the right training and skills to develop and mentor employees coming from different backgrounds. Investing in mid-level management training will enable your company to hire and retain more Black professionals. To motivate mid-level managers to commit to your strategy, you can tie their performance reviews and bonuses to making their teams more diverse and inclusive.
Learn how to hire and retain more Black professionals by booking your free 30-minute consultation here.