By Mark Samuel
As the intensity of energy and protests following the unjust murder of George Floyd settles down, it’s important for business leaders to keep working toward diversity, inclusion, and equity within their organizations.
As business leaders we can make a positive impact in the movement to value, respect, and include all human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, nationality, religion and any other form of prejudice. Some ways in which we can do this are:
1. Hiring, developing, and promoting a diverse staff in all levels of leadership.
2. Being mindful that we are offering the same mentoring, compensation, promotions, and bonuses to BIPOC individuals, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities based on merit and not on any other status.
3. Creating a safe space for minority employees to speak up about their goals, desires, concerns, and needs – especially unfair practices or treatment.
4. Holding employees and peers accountable if and when they perpetuate racist or gendered stereotypes, ideologies and assumptions with their words or actions.
5. Making sure we are providing the best quality service to a diverse customer base.
6. Engaging with supply chains that include fair representation of all diverse individuals.
7. Finding ways to donate to organizations that support BIPOC groups and individuals.
When it comes to Civil Rights and creating a country in which ALL people are valued, respected, and cared for equally, business leaders must be bold and have the courage to no longer accept moving from our current A State to an improved A State (A+ State). This is not enough! It’s time to be purpose-driven by creating a new B STATE (Breakthrough) change in the treatment of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ, woman, and any other group unfairly subjected to prejudice and bigotry. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”
We invite you to create your own Picture of Success as a leader for inviting, welcoming, engaging, developing, and promoting Diversity and Inclusion to influence our teams, our corporations, and our government to truly become a united America. We all need to become the transformation we want for a more just, peaceful, and caring society. When we achieve this new Picture of Success, we all win. We have stronger companies, improved customer service, increased profitability, engaged employees with leaders at every level, and more caring communities.