Advancing Racial Equity in the Workplace
By: Arlene S. Hirsch
July 15, 2021
Racial bias in the workplace is annually costing U.S. businesses $54.1 billion in increased absenteeism, $58.7 billion in lost productivity and $171.9 billion in turnover, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Black employees are most at risk for experiencing bias, followed by Latino and Asian-American employees. However, even employees who don't directly experience bias are negatively impacted by observing others being treated unfairly.
"There has been a collective awakening as more people become aware of how pervasive discrimination and bias are," said Evelyn Carter, director of training and people development at Paradigm Consulting, which is based in San Francisco and focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). "We are at a pivotal moment when organizations must answer an important question: How will they restructure their workplaces to truly advance racial equity and inclusion?"
HR has a pivotal role to play in answering that question.