Sandra Bledsoe

Racial Equity Training: Everything You Need to Know

Racial equity Training can be defined as both a process and an outcome, that helps understand the fact that race no longer determines socioeconomic outcomes; regardless of any place people live, they get everything they need to thrive. 

Racial equity treats everyone equal regardless of their color, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc thus giving importance to each and every person’s values.

What is Racial Equity?

It is a state of being non-discriminatory and impartial in a society or an organization we work for.

When racial equality is established:

  • People of every color are the planners, owners, and decision-makers in the government or any other governing system of their life.
  • We acknowledge and stand accountable for the past and current inequalities and provide an infrastructure to all, especially those impacted the most by the racial inequalities.
  • An equitable and just system is provided to all.

What is Racial Equity Training?

Racial equity training ensures that all the people at all levels are treated equally and contributes to a better environment. About 8 in 10 blacks (78%) have said that the country hasn’t gone far in providing equal rights to them. Hence, these training programs are necessary to provide the impacted people with a safe space.

Racial Equity Training in your Organization?

Due to many kinds of protests happening all over the world, companies that have been functioning for years on the same agendas and rules are ready to adapt to the demands. The companies are reframing their policies to provide a more inclusive and racial equity-valued approach. 

Since it’s new to some organizations, they get confused in finding the problems faced by the employees and work on that. Here are a few ways that can help a leader in establishing the basics required without harming any sentiments. 

  • Be transparent about policies and progress

The leader or the head of the organization needs to explain the potential value their initiative can have for employees, the organization, or society as a whole, no matter what approach is followed by the company. While doing this, the leader must acknowledge the difficult road ahead and how the organization is open to every feedback and suggestion for change. 

You can conduct qualitative and quantitative research to know what affects your company’s initiative on the workforce and other stakeholders. Make the outcomes of results visible to both internal and external audiences to promote further accountability and legitimacy. It would be best to consider evolving your approach as per the results obtained for creating racial equity and inclusion.

Companies also need to create transparency in employees’ daily work experience. The leaders can establish diversity councils, working groups, and resource groups that allow people at all levels to express their views. They can discuss the racial equity and the inclusion issues faced by their co-workers. The rights of people from all backgrounds can be made known to them to make them feel empowered.

  • Compassion to conversation

The issues of race have been made such a taboo through conditioning over years that people usually avoid speaking about it. 1 in 3 black families lives with zero or negative wealth. Even when employed, black individuals earn 25% less than white co-workers. They feel uncomfortable talking about it, which directly prevents them from being a better version of themselves. 

Besides, the other employees also stay deprived of the deep knowledge of the issue. But these issues of racism, injustice, and discrimination can take a psychological toll on the minds of Black employees. 

Hence, it is necessary to make them feel comfortable while talking about it. The leader can respond to their stories with compassion making them feel better and setting an example in front of other employees.

It is well-known that experiences are subjective to individuals; hence, an equal focus to multiple identities, greater bias, and disparities should be given. Also, the leaders have to increase racial diversity, and it is essential to remove the term “cultural fit” from the job openings and performance evaluation.

  • Adopt bold strategies

The objectives of diversity have been difficult to address because of the long devaluation of diversity-related work. But you as a leader can change that by :

  • Making diversity, equity, and inclusion (DIE) goals.
  • Making it mandatory for all managers and leaders to participate in behavior-based DIE training.
  • Elevating DIE works internally and externally.

Always staying up to a growth mindset is the key to advancing racial equity and inclusion. The leadership positions should be allotted based on education, passion for learning, capacity, and potential rather than considering the color or geographical background.

You should encourage the use of broad and diverse candidates. This can be made possible through a few changes in the talent management process. In the hiring process, too, you must correct the bias in job ads, resume screening, and interviewing procedures. It would attract a more diverse pool to your company. Go for inclusive job descriptions, conduct blind resume reviews, and conduct structured interviews to rectify the errors happening in any of the spheres.

  • Programs for inclusion

As now the conversational and diversity problems have been solved, it’s time that you conduct some effective programs for instrumental change across the company. There is no company without racial equity and inclusion issues, not even those with a diverse set of employees.

The programs for knowledge and practice around racial differences and equality can be in training sessions, webinars, seminars, and workshops. The programs for diversity and inclusion will support the leaders to develop intimate knowledge around lived experiences. This knowledge helps find the key concerns and develop an inclusive practice to support employees according to individual and group needs.

It is high time that companies move from only the conversational spheres and move it all into action. The motive should be removing the structural barriers that stand in the way of the progress of Black and Brown employees.

Things to keep in mind before initiating a training program:

  • All the organizations have their functioning and styles of training. You should choose your training program as per your company’s functioning.
  • This transformative learning can vary as per personal experiences. It would be better if the employees prepare a bit before training.
  • A long-term commitment is required before beginning the training. As it will impact your and your employee’s mindset, it is important to make sure everyone is ready for the change. Change requires a particular type of thinking ready.
  • Covering every point in a detailed manner is important for training to yield a successful shift of thinking as some loose ends will be left. It is important to know who is ready for the change.

Racism has been rooted deeply for a long time; hence, eradicating it would surely be a hard task. You can start from somewhere, and the goal will be reached in no time with the cooperation of your co-workers. Racial equity training would ensure a safer and better workplace for your employees.

Change begins from within; through a little training and knowledge acquisition, everything is possible!