Organizations globally have begun acknowledging systematic racism and how to handle it; this is majorly due to the protests which emerged ensuing the murder of George Floyd. The executive president and chief external engagement officer in the united states retail giant Target, Laysha Ward, emphasized that there cannot be a one-size-fits strategy for organizations to deal with racism. However, a shared framework and guidelines can assist improve instead of replacing the current strategies. Laysha highlights the foundation of a framework that she depends on in her work in Target; it reflects insights from national and local companies and leaders and her experience as a black woman.
The following are four of the pillars she described as foundational.
This pillar describes the company’s “why?” what is the issue being addressed, and the final impact the organization desires to achieve. Laysha states that an organization should utilize purpose as a filter for making decisions and creating the desire and drive to have uncomfortable discussions.
Laysha says that this pillar reflects the significance of learning, listening, and collaborative establishment of remedies that companies should use with their black employees and a vast ecosystem of partners. She suggests that if you do not know how your black staff’s experience is, you must collect a variety of perspectives to make sure all your shareholders comprehend what the reality is for your staff’s experience.
Black executives are hugely underrepresented in the C-suite, CEO roles, and the jobs that can lead to those levels. As a result, Laysha says we must be more than intentional to develop more Black talent opportunities; to embrace new and sophisticated roles involving assignments with profit and loss roles.
Laysha says that companies need to calculate the benefits and costs of current and new initiatives, doubling the ones that work and ensuring everyone is held accountable for the impacts. She adds that the selection of significant diversity and inclusion metrics is more of art than a science; your metrics must be driven by your purpose and must follow your growth over time towards completing your highlighted racial equity goals.