Following the police killing of George Floyd and the subsequent nationwide protests against police brutality and racial and social injustice last summer, companies across the country renewed their focus on implementing diversity and antiracism training sessions as part of a larger effort to acknowledge the effects of institutional racism and not only seek to root it out in the workplace, but also to create a more racially and ethnically representative workforce. It’s not new -- many companies have required employees take diversity and antiracism courses, but last summer’s protest brought a renewed focus to these trainings, how companies use them in the workplace, and whether employees are actually internalizing and applying the concepts they’re taught.
Six months later, how is that going? How have companies followed through on their promises to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion at work? How are employees applying what they learn in the training, and do they feel that the company is fostering an environment where potentially uncomfortable conversations about race can be had and questions can be asked without fear of judgment or retaliation? And what can employers and employees continue to do to ensure that the ideas and concepts that are laid out in these training sessions are applied to the way employees do their jobs, the way employers assess, evaluate and hire new employees, and how workers apply those lessons to their daily interpersonal dynamic? A recent article in The Wall Street Journal looks at how employers are following up on these trainings and where diversity, equity and inclusion consultants say there are still some gaps in the follow-through.
Today on AirTalk, we want to hear from you -- if you’re an employee, what kinds of trainings did your company implement last summer following the protests against racial and social injustice and police brutality? Has your company followed up on those trainings and provided additional resources? If you’re an employer, how have you been following through to ensure that the concepts discussed in the training are applied in the workplace? We’re taking your calls at 866-893-5722.
Stephanie Creary, assistant professor of management at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and a founding faculty member of the Wharton IDEAS Lab (Identity, Diversity, Engagement, Affect, and Social Relationships); her research interests include identity, diversity and inclusion and relationships across difference