When beginning the journey of becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company, leadership buy-in is essential. We’ve all heard the saying “change starts at the top”, and this sentiment is especially important when incorporating more supportive DEI practices into your business because:
- Many leaders are white (cannot relate or inherently know the correct steps forward)
- Leaders are the decision-makers when it comes to policy, thus they must have accurate information and believe in the cause in order to create effective change for black employees
In order for leadership to be bought-in to incorporating more supportive DEI practices, they must first educate themselves on the issues and the correct steps forward. Specifically, the following three subjects:
- Racial injustice outside of the workplace (common areas and institutions where racism exists, implicit racial biases of white people, etc.)
- Ways racism can show up in the workplace (because it’s embedded in business structure and even the white psyche)
- How you can mitigate and fix these issues to support your black employees
If leaders choose to educate themselves in these three areas, they will be provided a more holistic view on what their black employees are experiencing and what they, as employers and friends, can do to help. By studying up on how to be ally both inside and outside of the workplace, leaders are also likely to feel more passionate and tied to the work they’re doing to better support the company’s black employees. By knowing what’s happening outside of the workplace regarding racial injustice, leaders will be better informed on what changes they need to make within the walls of their business.
Canopy has compiled a list of resources that can help you begin the learning process, but of course we recommend you do some research of your own. The more information you expose yourself to, the more supportive you’ll be able to be of your black employees!
Resources: DEI Leadership Resources – Canopy KY