Updated: Mar 15, 2021
As women continue to take their place of leadership at universities, in organizations and companies each day, they use their voices to connect with others, to lead major projects, and to make sure that goals are being met. Companies that value diverse voices should make sure Black women are included in that group, as well. Why, because when policies and impactful decisions are being made, the voice of the Black woman should be involved in the process.
We are a part of the workforce to provide a unique skillset but also to offer different perspectives and add a richness to the projects and conversations that are occurring at work. For companies that are interested, and really want to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, there are numerous ways to incorporate the Black woman’s voice. Black women are often at the bottom when it comes to being hired for leadership positions, experiencing unequal wages, and for being hired in general. Companies can change that. Here’s how.
Establish employment guidelines for hiring practices so that those who lead human resources departments are knowledgeable about the company’s intent.
Establish diversity hiring as an important component of the company’s present and future goals.
Include the hiring of Black women as part of the company’s mission statement and vision plan.
Do ambitious, rigorous, searches for Black females, and other women of color, who stand out in their field or discipline of expertise.
Set attainable goals and benchmarks to hire Black women who are on the market looking for work. Believe me, they are there.
Incorporate evaluation procedures that allow your company to visually see how your company is performing when it comes to increasing the number of Black women and other levels of diversity. Numbers tell the truth, don't they?
Implement training sessions for those who are responsible for hiring in order to check biases, whether they are explicit or implicit. We all have them at some level or another.
Be proactive rather than reactive when a potential hire is identified and who could easily step into the position you’re looking to fill.
Lead from the top. Employees tend to follow and practice what they see their senior leaders doing.
Finally, once you find that important employee who is bringing her wisdom, knowledge and skills to your organization, help to retain her by offering mentoring and guidance for what it will take to be successful in your place of work.
Research has shown that Black women are some of the most highly educated and credentialed people but are the most underemployed. It’s easy to be a part of the solution for changing that. Not only will you add an outstanding employee to your company, organization or university, you will also gain a new perspective for your workspaces. Black women’s voices are desperately needed in all strata of society. Help lead the way.