How are your Board members influencing your DEI progression and regression?

When Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer winning journalist and creator of the 1619 project, applied for tenure at UNC-Chapel Hill her application was initially denied due to the influence of a conservative white board member and pressure from a donor.

Hannah-Jones accepted a position at Howard University instead where she felt welcomed and valued. You can read her powerful statement here.

If your company wants to authentically support historically excluded communities, then your board needs to represent those communities. Full stop.

How can you make sure your Board reflects your values?
  • Create a Board diversity policy
  • Address unconscious bias 
  • Make equity a part of your mission, not just your mission statement 
  • Foster an inclusive environment in the boardroom
  • Include DEI in annual Board assessments
  • Elect Board leadership who value DEI

Content that should be framed
The current state of diversity, equity & inclusion

The playing field at work is shifting. If you're leaning into remote work and flexibility, how do you make sure you’re not unintentionally leaning out of your career? And what happens if certain subsets of the workforce, like mothers, are less likely to return to the office?

By Rachel Feintzeig | Wall Street Journal
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Two years ago, California became the first state to sign a bill expanding anti-discrimination protections to hair textures and styles like afros, braids and locs that reflect Black identity, turning a national spotlight on hair restrictions affecting Black people in workplaces and schools. The CROWN Act, has since been passed in 12 other states and 29 municipalities.

By Candice Norwood | The 19th
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Mental Health is a Top Priority for Parents and Caretakers 

The largest percentage (35%) of parents think mental health is the issue that’s most affecting their families, with females being more concerned about mental health than their male counterparts. Women have had to drop out of the workforce in record numbers, and families have had to adapt.

By Jennifer DaSilva | Thrive Global
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Google Reports Soaring Attrition Among Black Women

Google last year committed to increasing retention of racial minorities and other groups by increasing support staffing and programs. But some people from underrepresented backgrounds have said they continue to feel unwelcome in the tech industry, and they also remain high in demand elsewhere.

By Paresh Dave | Reuters
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Allyson Felix knows exactly what it’s like to be worried about childcare while she’s training and competing. She announced a partnership with Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation to launch a $200,000 grant aimed at covering childcare costs for professional athletes competing during 2021. 

By Elizabeth Segran | Fast Company
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We need to change the workplace expectations and norms, rather than encouraging women to find partners willing to stay at home. That would do a lot more for broader gender inequality, rather than privileging only people who can negotiate for their spouses to stay home.

By Audrey Goodson Kingo | Chief
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Employees Need Spaces at Work Where They Can Be Vulnerable 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the heightened focus on racial injustice, political unrest, and environmental issues like the climate crisis, employees had to largely bury their anxieties, put on a brave face, show up to work, and perform as usual. But nothing about the past year has been “usual.”

By Inamarie Johnson | Fast Company

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Marketers are Quitting: Why the Industry Should Brace for an Exodus

In a 'buyers' market,' workers and executives are quitting in droves for better opportunities—or none at all. This is a "watershed moment" for Madison Avenue. Burnout from 24/7 agency work and the desire to work remotely are among the drivers

By Avi Dan | Forbes

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Change makers who are shattering glass ceilings & defying odds

W-i-n-n-e-r. On Thursday, 14-year old Zalia Avant-garde became the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The New Orleans native correctly spelled murraya, which is a type of tree, to win the 93rd installments of the iconic competition.

Those inspiring us, putting in the work & wasting no time doing it

The category is: making history. Mj Rodriguez has become the first transgender performer to pick up an Emmy nomination in a major acting category. Rodriguez is nominated in the lead drama actress category for her fierce and formidable portrayal of house mother and nurse Blanca Rodriguez on FX’s ballroom culture period drama “Pose.” 

When the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and creator of the 1619 project Nikole Hannah-Jones announced last week that she was headed to Howard University, her decision ignited a conversation on the opportunity for Black academics to flip the script on taking their talents to predominantly white institutions.

HHB's POV on moments in culture 

Listen to HHB Founding Partner Pamela Culpepper on the You Are TechY Podcast with Ellen Twomey discuss how corporations are addressing diversity in a way that actually impacts culture, recruiting and retention.

Resources + Education = Intentional Actions
🎙 Listen (42 min): 1619 Podcast

💻 Watch (1 min): Why Working Moms Are Stressed 

📖 Read (5 min): Who Can Know About Employee Vaccination Status

And if you do one thing today... make it this:
Make sure DEI is a priority in the boardroom. 

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