Racial Equity in the Corporate World, 2022 Edition

Making a commitment to change and actually effecting that change is two very different tasks. The motivation and desire to do right was a critical first step on the path to promoting racial equity.

Racial Equity in the corporate world has always been lackluster. However, in recent years thanks to racial unrest and the pandemic, companies have been forced to reevaluate their policies. The past two years have led to a drastic change in the climate on the ground and in the board in terms of access to advanced options and more. Companies have pledged and made efforts to change how they treat employees, especially those of color. A generous percentage of companies have even vowed to produce a measurable amount of change within their organizations in order to support racial equity in the workplace. Now that these drives have had two years to develop, let’s take a look at the atmosphere of racial equity in the corporate world in 2022.

Racial Equity Versus Racial Equality

Equity and equality may seem similar, but in the corporate world, they do not carry the same meaning. Measuring the changes that have been made in recent years not only depends on a proper understanding of the difference but also on the proper application of reform. Racial equality is important, in fact; it ensures basic access to opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. On the other hand, racial equity will explicitly consider race and ethnicity when opportunities are being presented. Companies often used the broad stroke of equality to give more minorities a chance to excel, which is a positive sign. However, racial equity is a more specialized practice that can be used to help advance marginalized groups in a way that will produce far-reaching benefits.

Dissecting Changes in the Corporate Landscape

Changes were slow in coming, in fact, many businesses simply went through the motions. However, with constant pressure being applied, simply outwardly responding to injustice was no longer accepted. Businesses and companies were forced to examine their own practices and policies to help determine where inequality existed and where equity could be applied. Many companies who took a closer look at their management and leadership had some interesting finds. They discovered that not only was there a lack of color, but there was also a serious lack in the ability for people of color to attain such positions. Following the status quo was no longer acceptable and has led to many businesses making an active effort to seek out and hire professionals of color.

Challenges of Implementing Racial Equity

Making a commitment to change and actually effecting that change is two very different tasks. The motivation and desire to do right was a critical first step on the path to promoting racial equity. However, enacting social justice plans, creating pay equity, and effective racial equity have never been put into action on a widespread level. Without a platform or even a basic guideline to follow, most companies were faced with the inability to effectively implement their desires in an impactful way.

Implementing Racial Equity in the Corporate World

Despite the challenges, many of the top companies in the US came together and formed a $50 billion dollar fund. This fund is intended not only to fight racial injustice but also to fund racial equity programs in the corporate world and at the grassroots level. With so much raw data available, companies and business leaders now have access to dynamic data, operational plans, and guidelines they can use to affect racial equity within their organizations effectively.

Corporations have the most critical role of all when it comes to driving economic and racial equity. They also have good reasons to work on change. According to reports, POC will achieve the majority as soon as 2045. This is not only in terms of population but also in terms of workforce demographics. Ensuring racial equity will drive innovation and help support market growth in every field.

What Does Racial Equity Really Look Like in 2022

Although there has been plenty of progress in the field of racial equity in corporate America, there is still a lot more work to be done. As of the start of the year, as many as half of all POC still have trouble making ends, meet on a daily basis. Despite these numbers, research shows that diversity in the workplace is up by at least 68% over the last 5 years. In corporate America specifically, there has been a 28% increase in POC in positions of power across almost all sectors. While this percentage may seem small, it is comparable to the less than 5% of POC that held the equivalent positions even a decade ago.

There have been more opportunities for brilliant minds to expand their management skills or even take overboard positions. For mid and low-level positions, now only has hiring increased, but so have advancements within companies. There are still trouble spots that flare up from time to time such as biased hiring practices or unequal pay, but they are less prevalent than they were just a few years ago. We have a long way to go to achieve true racial equity, but as of 2022 things seem to be headed along a path of genuine progress. 

Holding The Corporate World Accountable to Drive Change

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Image Sources:

https://es.weforum.org/platforms/centre-for-the-new-economy-and-society/projects/partnering-for-racial-justice-in-business

https://hbr.org/2020/09/how-to-promote-racial-equity-in-the-workplace

https://www.pacificoaks.edu/voices/business/how-businesses-can-encourage-racial-equity-in-the-workplace-bsba/

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