During the NACE Town Hall: We Stand Together event held on June 9, a panel of career services and university recruiting professionals discussed their lives and professional careers as black men and women and offered ideas for moving ahead with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Following are several of the many suggestions the participants offered to individuals and organizations:
- Look at things from an individual level—If candidates do not see someone who looks like you, they will not think that they can aspire to do the things that you do or work the jobs me and my team perform.
- Represent the range of experience that you have had—Be authentic, even with knowing you might be the only person in the room that looks like you. Be unapologetic. The more you can be your authentic self, the better.
- Being a good employer is not enough—Are you a good employer for all of your employees? Can you answer this question with DEI strategies you use that are very effective?
- Partnerships are extremely important—Help colleges move in a direction that is broad and expansive in DEI specifically. Seek partnerships that matter in this way.
- Do not overcomplicate the issues we need to solve—Do not get caught up in wondering if you are saying the right thing. Be respectful, but seek to understand to make progress. Sometimes, we politicize ourselves so much that we cannot get the work done that is right in front of our faces.
- Work to solve disparities—We all know what the disparities are. Ask why these disparities exist and work to solve it. Do not pretend that the disparity does not exist or that it is somebody else’s fault. Bring others involved to the table and identify those who are not involved who could be part of the solution.
- Make sure people have exposure and awareness—There is range of experiences within the black community. Provide exposure to your experience, whether it is in a local church, through a fraternity, during on-campus recruiting, or in other venues. People cannot apply to things they do not know about. Show that opportunities exist and carry that out by making them aware of the opportunities available to them.
- Supply the tools to help others succeed--Make it clear that you are not looking to replace others. You want to compete side-by-side to help each other win. Remove barriers and preconceived notions to move in the right direction.
For more information, see NACE Town Hall: We Stand Together.