Quick Poll: How Employers, Colleges Are Responding to Racial Injustice

August 5, 2020 | By NACE Staff

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In August, NACE launched quick polls to gauge how institutions, organizations, and individual career services and recruiting offices are responding to the need to address racial injustice. (Note: The polls also reflect strategies detailed in NACE’s commitment plan for supporting the Black community and fighting racial injustice.) Results are provided in real time and updated as responses are added or altered. The poll closes on September 8.

As of August 21, 81 percent of the organizations responding to the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice had published statements about anti-racism. Among the organizations that made statements, 66 percent did so from the company overall, while 14 percent issued statements jointly from the company overall and from its human resources department. 

Actions that responding companies committed to taking included rooting out discrimination within the organization (71 percent), reviewing hiring policies and procedures (47 percent), and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (44 percent). Human resource departments, meanwhile, pledged to review their policies and procedures that address hiring (75 percent), personnel (42 percent), and internships (42 percent). Half also committed to rooting out discrimination within the department.

For many organizations that made commitments to take action, the work has yet to begin. Slightly more than half—54 percent—have undertaken the process of reviewing their hiring policies, procedures, and practices, while respondents have been slower to review policies, procedures, and practices addressing promotions (28 percent) and personnel (27 percent). Furthermore, while 22 percent indicated having plans to review these areas, but not having started yet, nearly as many (20 percent) have no plans in place to conduct these reviews yet.

More than half of respondents report that their offices have been allocated more funds and/or resources to recruit candidates who have historically been underserved. Another popular action is to include more historically Black colleges and universities (59 percent) and Hispanic-serving institutions (31 percent) on their lists of target schools.

Among college respondents, more than half of responding institutions have committed to rooting out discrimination within the institution (77 percent); supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) student groups (65 percent); and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (57 percent).

Meanwhile, at the departmental level, career centers, too, will take these actions. Three-quarters pledge to support the Black Lives Matter movement, 62 percent will support BIPOC student groups, and 55 percent have committed to rooting out discrimination in the career center.

Less than half of colleges and universities have pledged to review their policies, procedures, and practices around hiring (45 percent), personnel (41 percent), and promotions (30 percent). Among these, just one-quarter have begun the review of their hiring process, while just 15 percent of these respondents have begun review of their personnel or promotion processes. A much higher percentage—40 percent—have no plans to conduct these reviews yet.

One area that is heavily addressed by responding career centers is training: More than 90 percent have all career center staff participate in professional development covering diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Note: As of August 21, 88 employers and 251 colleges and universities had responded to the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice. The number of respondents vary by question as not all organizations and institutions responded to every question. Current results from the NACE Quick Poll: Responding to Racial Injustice are available online.