5 Lies About Racial Diversity In The Workplace You Need To Stop Believing

It is now time to learn how to talk about race diversity in the workplace and how your own thinking can affect progress. (Photo: Fizkes via Getty Images)
Part of learning how to talk about races in the workplace is to unlearn what you may have been taught and to recognize what workplace practices you may have accepted as normal.
In the past few days, media and retailers have highlighted the status quo of racism in their own institutions, while the same companies are campaigning for Black Lives Matter on social media.
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It's time to ask how your own thinking can help make your color colleagues feel unwelcome. You may have internalized shared lies about diversity in the workplace regarding races that you need to know are not true.
1. The enduring myth of meritocracy
A persistent harmful belief in advancement is that black, indigenous, and other colored people who work just hard enough achieve the same career outcomes in the workplace as their white counterparts.
However, gloomy statistics on the representation of colored people in professions and in management show that this is not the case. There are only four black CEOs in the Fortune 500, and only 8% of black professionals have employees. Among working adults with a bachelor's degree or higher, black workers make up only 7% and Latinx workers make up only 6% of the science, technology, engineering and math workforce, according to the Pew Research Center.
For the few colored people who are hired in areas where they are a minority, there may also be an assumption that they have a racial advantage.
"The most poisonous thing is when whites assume that African-Americans and other colored people have some advantage in areas where they're almost excluded," said Pamela Newkirk, journalist and author of Diversity, Inc. .: The failed promise of a billion dollar business. "
"There is this underlying assumption that if you are white, you are there for merit, or if you are black or colored, you got your job because of your race, which is ridiculous, but it is a perception that it is widespread among many whites, ”said Newkirk. Newkirk experienced this perception herself in a newsroom where she was the only black employee, and she was told that the only reason she got the job was because she was black.
Yashar Ali

@ Yashar
Whenever people talk about diversity, people inevitably say things like "what happened to people's attitudes based on their qualifications ?!"

You think all these white guys were hired because of their qualifications?

4:19 p.m. - June 10, 2020
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2,611 people talk about it
Yashar Ali

@ Yashar
June 10, 2020
Whenever people talk about diversity, people inevitably say things like "what happened to people's attitudes based on their qualifications ?!"

You think all these white guys were hired because of their qualifications?

Ashley Nicole Black

@ ashleyn1cole
I like to answer, "Oh, it's interesting that when I say" people with color, "you hear" unqualified people ". Why do you think that is?"
8:22 a.m. - June 10, 2020
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70 people talk about it
Far from being an advantage, being the only one in your racial identity group is associated with your own mental stress. According to a 2019 report by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey, 50 percent of black women said they felt particularly cautious and watched closely when they were the only woman and person of their race in the work room.
2. The racing card
The only racing card that has ever been institutionalized in our country is white supremacy.
Sociologist Crystal Fleming
When employees say that their colleagues "play the racing card" or "split" by demanding racial discrimination and ill-treatment at the workplace, they minimize experiences they have lived.
"The only racing card that has ever been institutionalized in our country is white supremacy," said Crystal Fleming, associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at Stony Brook University and author of "How To Be Less Stupid About Race: About Racism "white supremacy" and segregation. Fleming said that racism among white supremacists gives people privileges, benefits and resources because they are socially defined as white.
"Even the term" playing cards "is a way to minimize the massive harm done by racism," said Fleming. "Anyone who has been systematically or structurally affected by racism knows that it's not a game. It's about life or death, it's about having access to resources or not."
The experience of employees with races can be invalid for reasons of defense. A common characteristic of how the white supremacy in organizations shows is the readiness to defend itself, according to Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun in "Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Groups of Social Change". "Criticism of those in power is seen as threatening and inadequate (or rude)," they write.
Antidotes to this criticism mean that you have to work on naming defensiveness in yourself in order to “understand the connection between defensiveness and fear (loss of power, loss of face, loss of comfort, loss of privilege),” Jones and Okun write.
3. The myth after the race
Once you admit that there is inequality and bias, you have to do everything to combat it.
Journalist Pamela Newkirk
In conversations with employees, you can hear that "racism is dying out" or that "we are a post-race society," a phrase that has been repeated many times since Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president.
But race has always played a role in our society, including the workplace. "We were not a post-race society before, during, or after Obama. We were never a post-race society because we always had those perverse differences that we were allowed to continue," said Newkirk.
When you say that you believe that your workplace does not see a race, you also say that you ignore racial inequalities in the workplace that can occur in your meetings, between your teams and in your boardroom.
"Once you admit that there is inequality and bias, you have to do everything to combat it," Newkirk said of the post-racial beliefs. "It's easier to say that it doesn't exist, and that's one way to secure the status quo and protect the status quo."
4. The belief that "everyone is different"
Fleming said that this language "everyone is diverse" falls under the phrase "all life is important".
"Part of what happens to the language of diversity and inclusion is that it is co-opted by institutions, businesses, and universities so that systemic racism, inequality, and discriminatory practices are not addressed in our institutions," said Fleming.
5. The belief that promoting racial diversity ends when you hire someone or attend a workshop
The improvement in race diversity doesn't end when you hire different talents. It's also about creating an environment in which they want to stay and grow.
Minda Harts, founder of The Memo LLC, a career development company for women in color, found that many black employees leave the company because they lack the opportunity to advance.
“I think a lot of companies are focusing on the pipeline. They say, "We have to put them in the pipeline," but there are actually a lot of talented black people who aren't kept, "said Harts.
Within the next 60 to 90 days, Harts advised companies to identify the black talent they already have in their company and to ask themselves: "What are the succession plans to ensure that they climb the ladder?"
The work doesn't end when you take part in a workshop on racial prejudice or diversity. Fleming said one of the biggest misunderstandings about diversity is that it is a box that you can check off after attending a workshop or training.
“It enables organizations and institutions to avoid structural changes, because if you just tell people that you only have to do this workshop and the problem you have solved, you don’t have to check carefully who is excluded from the C-Suite. What is the wage gap between people who are white and black and people with color or gender pay gap? “Said Fleming.
A look beyond the diversity of races when hiring also means critically questioning the relationship between your company and the color communities. There can be a separation between the progressive words projected by brands and how their companies work.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently kneeled with employees in the pose former quarterback Colin Kaepernick had popularized to declare police brutality against blacks. In 2017, JPMorgan Chase paid $ 55 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against discrimination against black and Latin American borrowers.
"The solution is not only to diversify attitudes, but also to look at the politics of what is happening within the organization," said Fleming. "We have to be serious about not letting our institutions get away with superficial statements that don't get to the bottom of problematic and harmful practices."
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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