How 15 Companies Are Working to Be Anti-Racist
This summer, as the extrajudicial murders of Black Americans prompted renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, companies and organizations across the United States started to center the experiences of their Black employees and prioritize conversations about race in a real way.
Some companies already had robust diversity and inclusion initiatives that combated some of the systematic injustice Black workers face. Many more, though, realized they had to invest in building them. That work started with learning what it takes to be a truly anti-racist—not just non-racist—workplace. Many companies have gotten quieter about Black Lives Matter since June, so we wanted to know what companies were doing to make good on the promises they made earlier this year.
Here at PowerToFly, we're lucky enough to partner with industry-leading companies who really believe in creating equitable work environments where diverse talent can thrive. We interviewed several of our clients to learn about the ways in which they're working to build anti-racist workplaces. We hope that their answers provide some transparency to the ongoing work companies are doing to ensure that their stated commitments to DEI translate into meaningful action, and inspire other companies to follow suit.
Mindbody empowers employees to act
"It is not effective to be 'not racist.' It hinders change and slows the momentum needed to break down long standing barriers individuals experience. Mindbody believes we must be 'anti-racist' and lean into this topic and lead by example. We have focused our attention on educating our team, through formal education such as small group trainings and larger webinars teaching us about our Unconscious Bias, How to be an Inclusive Leader, How to Cope with Civil Unrest, and Raising Diversity in the Home, and through informal education such as fireside-like conversations with our team members, hearing their specific experiences with racism. One key learning we have had recently at Mindbody is around a word we commonly used to use, 'ally.' We have had to shift the meaning of being an ally, as something active vs. something passive. We have asked our employees to be active allies and stand up and share their thoughts and experiences on these topics. We have given our employees a new volunteer day off to be used July-September 2020 to volunteer for an organization of their choice and focus on a way they can actively create change. If all 1,200 employees give 8 hours, this will give almost 10,000 hours of active work to create the change we need in this world."
Learn more about MINDBODY here.
Moody's invests in community-building events
"Moody's is committed to a diverse and inclusive culture. We aspire for Moody's to be a place where everyone feels comfortable being their true selves, where we demonstrate empathy and civility – and where we celebrate the differences that make us stronger. To further our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion at Moody's and racial justice in the communities where we live and work, we proudly share an array of events we held in June and July 2020.
Thousands of employees attended one or a mix of 43 events we've held across the world on racial justice, including our racial justice town hall, signature Juneteenth event, learning sessions from our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and Moody's Courageous Conversations and Moments That Matter series.
The reach and success of these events was made possible through strong employee leadership and participation – especially from our Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility teams and employee-led Multicultural ERG and Black Inclusion Group."
Learn more about Moody's here.
T. Rowe Price drives awareness through conversation
"Although the pandemic continues to separate associates physically, the firm's collaborative culture and united stance on racial equity has galvanized employees to use their voices to promote equality. Bill Stromberg, President and CEO, issued a public statement on June 4 that reflects our commitment to fighting racial injustice. In addition to the T. Rowe Price Foundation committing $2 million to organizations working to fight racial injustice, the matching gift program is available to employees who are interested in financially supporting racial equity causes.
To ensure the cultural conversation continues, the firm has held dozens of Diversity Dialogues across the company. These sessions are facilitated by thought leaders and experts in diversity and inclusion and provide employees with a safe space to speak candidly about their experiences to leadership and colleagues. This comes on the heels of T. Rowe Price evolving its business resource group, MOSAIC, which helps drive multicultural awareness at the firm, into three heritage communities – Black/African American, Latinx, and Asian – to promote an even greater sense of belonging. T. Rowe Price is encouraging employees to tap into resources available on TRPConnects, an internal social media site which offers mental health and wellness information, personal accounts and stories from colleagues about their experiences with racism, and educational resources on systemic racism."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
PwC supports direct action in their community
"PwC stands against racism in the workplace, in our communities and in our country and is taking six actions to combat racial justice. The firm is taking steps to support its Black professionals, to improve diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization, and to contribute to the efforts of those who are fighting for racial justice and equality on the front lines. Specifically, this includes donating time to social justice organizations, giving employees one week of utilized time each year to volunteer with nonprofits, and supporting students and teachers in underserved communities to build a more diverse, tech-skilled future workforce, among other commitments. PwC people are encouraged to support each other and speak out against bias and stigma, to join one of our inclusion networks and to participate in blindspots training. The firm is also offering free racial trauma counseling for PwCers and their families."
Learn more about PwC here.
Invesco prioritizes listening and accountability
"After the senseless killing of George Floyd ignited protests against police brutality and racial inequity, Invesco was quick to speak out and take action. In an open letter to clients and employees from President & CEO Marty Flanagan we said forcefully that Black lives matter. Our zero-tolerance approach to racism of any kind is embedded in our existing programs, such as unconscious bias training for all managers. We implemented a series of listening sessions with clients, the Invesco Black Professionals Network, and other internal Business Resource Groups. Communications kits for managers encouraged dialogue within teams and Juneteenth was established as a paid holiday for US employees. We continue to build anti-racism programs and will hold ourselves accountable by measuring our ability to increase hiring, promotion and retention of diverse colleagues. Our CEO joined over 500 business leaders to urge Georgia lawmakers to sign the Hate Crimes legislation into law."
Learn more about Invesco here.
Snap strengthens allyship
"At Snap, creating a fairer, more inclusive, and truly anti-racist culture is everyone's job. Above all, this problem is not for underrepresented groups — or a DEI team — to solve. And so, to create a truly inclusive and anti-racist culture at Snap, we need our team members to become skilled allies.
We launched our Allyship Program in February 2020, with the objective to support Snap team members and turn goodwill into good action. The Allyship Program combines bold personal storytelling and frank conversations to inspire empathy and build awareness with formal workshops to equip team members with the knowledge, resources, skills and inspiration to be good allies in the workplace."
Learn more about Snap here.
S&P Global makes D&I a core part of business
S&P Global has most recently committed to accelerating progress through the following actions: leading courageous conversations with employees across teams to develop greater understanding around issues of racial justice; expanding our full-time staff devoted to advancing Diversity & Inclusion; doubling our financial investments in D&I initiatives and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs); expanding existing inclusion training globally to address bias and microaggressions; and contributing USD $1M via the S&P Global Foundation to non-profit organizations that support equity and racial justice. In 2018, the Company added a D&I metric to its strategic goals to track performance, and the global D&I Council leads and governs all such efforts across the enterprise.
Learn more about S&P Global here.
VideoAmp prioritizes education for their entire team
"The inflection point for us began the week of George Floyd's murder.
As a young and rapidly growing ad tech company, we paused and looked at where we could improve and grow from the Black Lives Matter movement. The VideoAmp executive leadership team spoke openly about the events during an All-Hands and from that meeting, the People Team took some immediate actions like the observation of Black Out Tuesday and making Juneteenth an annual company holiday. We felt these actions provided time and space for reflection and increased awareness of racial injustice in our country. And instead of having a purely top-down approach, we quickly launched our Employee-led Advisory Group (EAG) to create actionable, sustainable and meaningful ways to grow as an organization, ensuring all employees could be seen and heard. Over 100 employees quickly rallied together - the EAG now meets twice a week and has already formed actionable initiatives in three categories: 1.) Learn through self-education 2.) Participate in community outreach and 3.) Give Back through time and financial contributions. The group not only brings plans to life but also measures what success will look like with KPIs around specific initiatives to drive accountability for VideoAmp.
We continue to explore ways to educate our organization on the specific needs of the Black community and how to combat racism through proactive and ongoing learning and resource-sharing. We recognize that we still have a lot to learn. We formed a thought-leader speaker series with Dionna Smith from the PowertoFly team as our inaugural presenter. She spoke on power, privilege and how to be an ally for change. This first presentation drew an audience of over 100 employees which was 61% of the VideoAmp employee base. We've also launched a book club, featuring Black authors with physical books purchased from Black-owned bookstores, and have scheduled film and TV viewing events to further increase our knowledge and awareness of Black history and racial injustices in America. In addition, we share timely content related to the Black Lives Matter movement through a weekly company-wide newsletter and we have offered the opportunity to be part of Allyship Healing Circles through our partnership with Modern Health, among other mental health support at no cost to our employees and their dependents.
Lastly, through our partnership with PowerToFly, we're continuing to implement more assertive diversity hiring and recruitment practices, making VideoAmp a place where anyone can feel valued and inspired to thrive. We're on a mission to further diversify our workforce and drive a culture where all people feel they belong and are educated on how to be an ally for change in our organization and our communities."
Learn more about VideoAmp here.
Lattice partners with employees and customers to drive change
"To ensure an anti-racist work environment and help combat racism, Lattice took to company-wide crowdsourcing for different ways to help. Once we gathered a substantial list, ERG groups worked with our Leadership team to prioritize and assign items to individuals and teams. Examples include donation & support opportunities, company-wide allyship/anti-racist training, and we're finding/building ways to support our customers' DE&I efforts through our people management platform."
Learn more about Lattice here.
Kensho keeps the conversation going via continuous education
"Kensho is committed to educating our employees and fostering an anti-racist culture. Kensho employees recently attended The Adaway Group's Whiteness at Work virtual summer series. This was a four- part series addressing: Whiteness at Work, White Dominant Culture, Building Anti-Racist Skills and Operationalizing Racial Equity. After each session our Head of DEI, Shea Kerr, lead a debrief discussion to give employees the opportunity to discuss what they learned, as well as share their own experiences. This was a great way to bring these issues to the forefront and keep the conversation going with our employees. Kensho's DEI Committee is also working on bringing in additional DEI focused training that will take place throughout the year."
Learn more about Kensho here.
CarGurus creates a welcoming work environment
"At CarGurus, we strive to build and nurture a global culture where inclusiveness is a reflex, not an initiative. We are all responsible for fostering an anti-racist workplace by proactively centering diverse perspectives, amplifying underrepresented voices and deeply engaging in learning, dialogue, and action to drive forward systematic change. For us, that means investing in targeted and accessible programming and learning opportunities that enhance cultural humility, encourage growth, and promote inclusive leadership at every level. We are also striving to create more equity in our practices and policies so that everyone feels they can bring the ultimate expression of themselves to work every day despite their race, gender, or background."
Learn more about CarGurus here.
MongoDB shares resources in their team and in their community
"At MongoDB, we are committed to learning about and combating racism in the workplace. Here are some of the educational programming we have that promotes anti-racism: On August 13th, 2020, we had an internal event 'Decoding Inclusion Conversation on Race: Driving Impact with Power and Privilege' featuring Netta Jenkins (Forbes Top 7 Anti-Racism Educator), and sponsored by our CEO, Dev Ittycheria. During this session, Netta discussed the murder of George Floyd and the impact on Black people and the global community. She also discussed racial trauma and symptoms of race-based injustices
in the workplace. Members of our employee affinity group, The Underrepresented People of Color Network, shared resources for people looking to learn how to be anti-racist to support the current racial justice movement, and during our annual event, MongoDB World, we launched the MongoDB for Justice fund, in order to raise funds to enable organizations advancing anti-racism work."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Quip centers anti-racism training across their work
"Quip believes that we have a moral responsibility to help lead the fight for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive tech industry. We acknowledge that this is a challenging and ever-changing area, and takes ongoing work. We believe that diverse and inclusive teams are essential to build the best product, to meet our business goals, and to create a work environment where people from all backgrounds can feel like they belong, which will ultimately make our entire team more successful. Quip has been actively teaching and educating team members on how to build a more anti-racist workplace through various methods:
- Hosting a book club on the book How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Creating a central repository to encourage folks to support organizations fighting racism and police brutality
- Developing a dos and don'ts messaging guide centered around racial equality
- Doing a virtual volunteering event by reading Anti-Racism Children's Book for the kids at UCSF"
Learn more about Quip here.
Relativity explores diversity within its community
"We are committed to ongoing efforts to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging at Relativity. We are proud of our new internal learning series, 'Culture Collective,' where we explore the rich diversity of identities and cultures that make up our company and the communities we serve. This is a monthly series sponsored by one of our Community Resource Groups (CRGs) called Faces of Relativity in partnership with our entire CRG community. These sessions allow us to explore cultural mindfulness and establish actionable steps for how we can make an impact as allies. In addition to the 'Culture Collective,' we host monthly deep dive conversations and learning sessions with our CRG leadership, an anti-racism toolkit curated in partnership with the CRG community, and have built out a robust internal learning curriculum for 2021 that will aim to educate Relativians on culture, unconscious bias, power/privilege, and more."
Learn more about Relativity here.
Smartsheet builds anti-racist environments, including coding ones
"A group of Smartsheet employees has been actively working to remove offensive terminology from our engineering coding language. Just like many everyday terms and figures of speech have racist roots, so too do many of the standard terms used in coding. Although this is anti-racist work that is far less visible than more common organizational initiatives (like unconscious bias and inclusion trainings, both of which Smartsheet is launching this year), it is no less important and only further highlights how ingrained racism is in our world."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Interested in discussing what it takes to build anti-racist workplaces in real time? We're hosting Allyship to Impact, a two-day free virtual conference focused on providing resources and practical guidance to combat racism at work, this September 10-11. We hope you can join us.
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Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Maria Fava never would have predicted that she'd have a career in financial services. And certainly not in Maryland.
Over two decades ago, when Maria moved to the U.S. to study psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, she'd planned on moving back to Mexico to study law after graduation. Instead, she fell in love with an unassuming Italian-American her senior year. She married him and moved to Maryland, his home state.
When the pandemic began in spring and her friends (and fellow Carnegie Mellon master's students) started to find out that their offers for summer internships were canceled, Mai Sha held her breath.
A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work
The world has changed in the past few weeks.
We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.