With the recent anniversary of the death of George Floyd and the conclusion of the trial and sentencing of Derek Chauvin that has dominated the national conversation, it is clear that the calls for racial equity and equality that have defined the past year will continue into the foreseeable future. Many of our country’s largest industries have made significant changes as a result of this increased awareness and outspokenness in regard to the systemic issues that underlie the failures in diversity at the leadership levels. Such organizations have responded by committing to both long term and immediate initiatives in order to rectify their own institutional biases.
While the lack of representation at the leadership and executive levels of our country’s largest and most recognizable companies is far from a novel issue, many companies have recently committed to diversity and inclusion efforts that have the potential to create real and lasting change due in large part to the increased pressure from shareholders and customers. Notably, these efforts go beyond previously broad responses; and instead, range from creating funds and investing in initiatives designed to expand opportunities and promote equality to disclosing previously private race, gender and ethnicity workforce data. It consequently has had a dual effect of helping identify underrepresented groups as well holding the reporting companies accountable.