Five Things Women of Color Want You to Know About Diversity in the Workplace
Our recent Q3 Briefing made several things clear: if you want to attract the best to your workplace, you need to pay attention to how you’re making potential talent feel welcome (or not). Our moderator Colette Philipps drew dozens of interesting insights from the group. Here are some of our key takeaways from the powerhouse panel.
One: If You Don’t Diversify, It’s An Opportunity for Your Competition
The Millennial workforce is looking for mission-driven companies, focused on community and social justice, embracing of diversity. “The business imperative is well known. We don’t need another study,” commented Betty Francisco.
Two: Creating Social Networks for Women of Color Matters
Betty Francisco made it clear: ‘I have seen that many women of color don’t have the social network that helps advance us at work. That’s hard to develop and cultivate, especially if you don’t come from a well known family. But that network is critical–to be there for one another; to nominate each other; to prop up visibility.
Three: Check How Your Brand Looks from the Outside
It’s not just about the stock art on your website showing who you want to be; it’s the stories and pictures of the people who are already there. The panel and audience were in deep agreement on this. Carol Fulp discussed her experience of seeing people of all shapes and attitudes, but we won’t soon forget her story of a potential colleague walking by in pink fuzzy slippers.
Four: It’s Important to Be Intentional About the Pipeline
Carol Fulp addressed a question from the audience regarding how positions at the top aren’t generally turned over very often. She noted that companies need to have a succession plan (when spaces are full), keeping in mind the qualities you want to use to measure success given changing marketplaces.
Five: Remember We Are Making a Systemic Change, and That is Hard Work
Beth Chandler notes that “We’re supposed to stand out andbe invisible. I am always asking myself: how can I be true to who I am and be visible? Systemic change is hard work.” She encouraged us all to not get frustrated, but recognize that systems take a long time to change.
BWWC Q3 2018 Briefing Panel:
● Beth Chandler, President & CEO, YW Boston
● Betty Francisco, Co-founder, Latina Circle
● Carol Fulp, President & CEO, The Partnership
● Colette Phillips, President & CEO, Colette Phillips Communications (Moderator)