How will you use your influence for good today?
When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, little did she know that she would spark nationwide efforts to end racial segregation. That one action made an indelible impact on the lives of countless people as she helped break down longstanding racial barriers — her refusal to move led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for 381 days, finally ending with a Supreme Court ruling declaring that segregation on public transit systems was unconstitutional. Parks’ story shows that just one step could make the world of difference in the fight for racial equity. And you can too.
Standing up for racial equity still has great value decades after the civil rights movement, even if it’s just in your little corner of the world, i.e., your own organization. You might ask yourself, “I’m just one person. What difference can I make?” Well for one, your colleagues/employees might be counting on you to start the wave of change. And two, consider these statistics on the bottom line: racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better; a 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on senior executive teams leads to increased earnings before interest and taxes; and sales revenue increases 15 fold among companies with high racial diversity.
Everyone wins in a racially equitable organization.
Moreover, unfair practices in the workplace have long kept minority employees from achieving the same successes as their white counterparts — they’ve been overlooked for promotions, raises, leadership roles, development opportunities, and more based solely on their race. This level of hindrance doesn’t only stifle their growth, but that of the entire organization as well. It’s time to dismantle systemic racism and do your part to promote fairness across the board. Examine your organization’s policies and see how you can make a better tomorrow for people of color.
Parks once said, “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.” Now’s the time for you to take that first step. Read our Championing Racial Equity in the Workplace white paper and discover seven ways you can help create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Begin making the change that your people and organization need to thrive today and well into the future.
- Rosa Parks, Biography.com (August 25, 2021), found at https://www.biography.com/activist/rosa-parks.
- Bailey Reiners, 80+ Diversity in the Workplace Statistics You Should Know, Built In (December 14, 2020), found at https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion/diversity-in-the-workplace-statistics.