IBIS shares news, insight and best practices about pressing Diversity & Inclusion and Unconscious Bias topics in today’s workplace.

Subscribe to our newsletter

How Real-Life Stories Can Help Black Employees Thrive

As we celebrate Black History Month, we are inspired and energized by the racial equity work undertaken by many of our clients. When they acknowledge bias and diversity challenges in their organizations—and embark on learning journeys to address those hurdles—they expand the opportunities for employees. Our racial equity learning journeys empower organizations to better support Black employees.

In a racially equitable workplace, career progression milestones and business goals are achieved by a diverse group who are empowered to lead. Equity is the understanding that different people need different things to succeed – which means that an employee from a traditionally marginalized community likely has different needs, expectations and experiences from one who is not.

Even something as simple as a brief interaction may be experienced very differently by each person.

Small interactions

It’s those small interactions, found throughout the workday, where many diversity challenges can be found. You might find one in an off-hand comment in the hallway or dropped in Zoom chat, or maybe even tucked in the feedback of a slide deck or an email chain.

Even comments made with good intentions can be land in a way that feels challenging to the listener. Sometimes referred to as “Intent versus Impact,” this phenomenon is widespread – and good intent without good impact can create harm in the workplace. The impact is what ultimately matters.

Real-life experiences

These small interactions are highlighted during the racial equity learning journey. They are explored, dug into, questioned and mulled over. And – maybe most importantly – they hit home.

After watching a series of scenarios that feature conversations between a Black employee and her white supervisor, learners are able to pause and reflect on how seemingly simple workplace interactions might land for this particular Black employee.

What would a racially equitable workplace look like? How might allyship, power and privilege play a role in these conversations? What was the impact vs. the intent?

The scenarios are either performed live, or through video, and followed up with in-depth discussion. Since the conversations featured in the performances are taken from real life, the material resonates with audiences.

Curious to see for yourself? Below is a link to a session we conducted during the Diversity and Inclusion 2020 Conference hosted by The Conference Board. During this session you will see our CEO Shilpa Pherwani discuss in detail how we are using interactive modality to discuss racial equity issues. You will also hear client testimonials from Hasbro and USA Today.

Click here to view our session on racial equity

4 Topics in Racial Equity

For those exploring the racial equity learning journey, the following e-learning topics provide an outline of the educational process offered at IBIS.

Module 1: Fundamentals to Racial Equity

  • What is Racial Equity and why is it important
  • Equity vs Equality
  • Monologues illustrating real-life stories and impact of racism in the workplace
  • Social Identity Wheel (in vs out groups)
  • Culture Add vs Culture Fit
  • Race & Racism

Module 2: Systemic Racism

  • 4 types of racism and workplace examples
  • US Historical Context on Race (optional)
  • Concepts of power, prejudice, and oppression
  • Antiblackness & Colorism
  • Interrupting the cycle of oppression and prejudice

Module 3: Power & Privilege

  • Privilege and Racial Consciousness
  • Having Difficult Conversations on Race (Scenario)
  • Framework/guidelines for race related dialogue
  • Do’s and Don’ts for race-related dialogue

Module 4: Allyship and Anti-Racism

  • What is Allyship
  • Allyship at work (Scenario)
  • Seven Forms of Allyship
  • Spheres of Influence
  • Common Pitfalls to Avoid
  • Action Planning & Strategies to be Anti-racist

Please contact us if you’re interested. We’re glad to be able to support you in this important and timely work.