…lets and confront them head-on: call, email, direct message and make these companies uncomfortable. Make them tell you how many Black people are in leadership positions, how many women of color? What are you as a business doing to actively pursue people of color to ensure you represent all backgrounds? This is not about not hiring the most qualified person — that is a given. It is, however, about maki…
This is excellent! It gets to the heart of the matter.
I’ve worked in these settings for about 3 decades. My experience is that they do not want their majority to be altered, period. This is true of the overt racists and the ‘nice’ ones who appear to support the token (and I’ve been both an observer and experiencer of this). Ultimately, they want to maintain that majority. They think ‘nice’ can compensate for action, but what is needed is real action in these corporate settings to increase Black and other POC leadership at higher levels.
The problem is that the maintenance of that majority is the root of many of our current problems. In essence, the people most blind and ignorant about race and racism are in charge. The idea that they will ‘reach down’ and ‘help’ us is absurd: this is a condescending power trip. POCs performing at a higher level do not want lower performers helping them just because they happen to be privileged enough to have been given a leadership position. White people in higher positions are there, at least in part, because they are white.
In my opinion, they must only stop favoring each other. Most of the time, higher performing people of color, including Black ones, are simply being ignored by these ‘leaders’ in favor of promoting one and then checking off the diversity box. They don’t even seem to know that Native Americans/Indigenous peoples exist in North America. White privilege causes most of these higher-level positions to be filled by white males and, more recently, white females. In the corporations I’ve worked, I’m repeatedly surprised at how often higher performing men of color are overlooked for more mediocre white women, especially since the last economic downturn (about a decade or so ago). I believe this is an elaboration of affirmative action and the way many of these aff action positions went to white women instead of to the Black person it was meant for, regardless of gender.
Thanks again for focusing on pragmatic issues which are relevant and will continue to be even after people stop marching.