Random Observation/Comment #667: I understand that I will never understand. I stand with you.
Why this list?
ConsenSys has recommended all employees participate in a firm-wide holiday for Juneteenth to reflect, educate, and take action to combat racism and racial injustice. I’ve spent the day reading, listening, writing, and drawing.
I learned today that you can unknowingly support racist policies, but you must be knowingly and proactively anti-racist. I learned that it’s not enough to be “not racist” because doing nothing is being complaisant to the embedded systemic issues. When translated to where I work, I wonder:
- What policies would I want to see in place?
- What company changes will reflect socio-economic ones that combat systemic issues?
- How do companies make positive change?
- What company actions will make me respect and be proud of our values, mission, and leadership?
- How does my company show they listen and are willing to take reform seriously?
Here are some ideas every company can take action towards being anti-racist and supporting social justice:
- Name Juneteenth a public Holiday for employees to commemorate the ending of slavery in the US
- Survey your company to understand their perspective on the gaps and desired company cultural changes. Listen.
- Make appropriate changes to your policies based on this feedback. Read and address all ideas on a global Townhall.
- Make it a priority to acknowledge people’s perspective, voice, and contributions on a one-on-one basis
- Donate proceeds from fundraising events or company profits to #blacklivesmatter causes
- Invest long term in organizations that advance social justice
- Write public statements (and tweets, I guess) that are thoughtful and supportive of your employees, your partners, and your clients
- Support the creation of multiple diversity and inclusion resource groups within your company. Go beyond the slack channel discussions and provide resources for anti-racist training.
- Allocate budget to diversity and inclusion initiatives (training, material, events)
- Analyze the racial breakdown of your company. Make splits in retail and corporate employees if this applies to your business. Recognize uneven distributions.
- Address the skewed bell curve breakdowns of number of employees vs pay/title for each racial group. Publish transparent metrics of your workforce, management, and board racial distribution
- Change hiring and retention policies to look for more diverse pools
- Adjust prospect hiring and internships to provide direct outreach to historically black colleges and universities or support of hackathons
- Make sure new hire interview process includes reviews by a diverse panel
- Provide all new hires with diversity and inclusion training and resources
- Support internal career growth opportunities by providing clear advancement paths. In a tech company where developers don’t want to be managers, this may be a bonus structure or pay increase after completion of projects. Seniority of all developers may be analyzed by contributions rather than “jumping up a corporate ladder”
- Provide clear training courses for this type of advancement. There should be incentives for learning new relevant skills and understanding how to push forward. If titles are less emphasized in your organization, think about methods of recognition for activities. Perhaps it’s self branding by helping represent product ideas leveraging internal marketing/blogging channels.
- Hire an exec level Head of Diversity (or a diverse circle) with clear OKRs
- Show diverse representation on exec and board level
- Train all employees on anti racism and racial equality. Point out what racism and inequality looks like through example situations.
- Provide clear anti discrimination policies. Provide actions on how to confront racism at work
- Remove biases from evaluation and promotion decisions by looking at objective contributions through measurable data and feedback from peers
- Set OKRs and KPIs for your management and company to reach the measurable change employees want to see
- Reevaluate these OKRs on a regular basis as a part of your company’s culture and health
- Provide scorecards for external parties to validate your progress
- Empower and encourage leaders to speak up and support diversity and inclusion principles
- Make decision processes transparent through firm-wide shared recordings and notes of these meetings
- Provide employees with a clear anonymous ways to submit discrimination, harassment, or bullying conduct to appropriate parties
- Review your existing branding, marketing, and logos to ensure consistency with brand
- Influence external parties to be more proactive by supporting movements across the ecosystem. #cryptoforblacklives – Encourage these groups that educate and raise awareness to promote a diverse future of the industry.
~See Lemons Reflect on Juneteenth